30 seconds

I’ve been in a running rut, though I continue to run regularly during the week (every morning I don’t teach an early class and sometimes on weekends). I would run for the sake of running, thinking I’d had good runs, but the reality was that they weren’t. I run for exercise, but lately I’d plateaued and couldn’t, for the life of me, challenge myself. I actually wasn’t even pushing myself to run harder, longer, better…I would just run.

Then yesterday I read the blog of @girlcanrun, http://www.girlcanrun.com, about how the half MUST go on. She concluded her post with

My body was born to run. Running is 90% mental. My legs will go forever. And I WANT this.
so I asked myself, “When was the last time you felt like this about running, enza?” Not in a long while… for me, the resilience of the body is something I will never deny. I’ve put my body through a lot and ran even with my baker’s cyst and survived (not advisable but it’s who I am). What I have been struggling with, since my first race on the labour day weekend of 2011, is the mental component. I haven’t been able to run effectively because these are the thoughts that go through my mind as I run:
  • I’ve got so much grading to get through; I must get home
  • I’m overworked and my research is suffering. When the f**k will I finish the articles?
  • How can we continue to have the same stupid fight repeatedly
  • People are idiots! Yet they are more successful/happy/rich than I
  • Damn jiggly thighs! My ass still looks so big
  • Doesn’t matter how much I run, the scale isn’t showing it. Time for liposuction, but Dr.D, MD&JD, says I don’t need it. Should i get another opinion?

My demons…pathetic, isn’t it? The rational, logical side of me knows that I need to shut this down. The perfectionist in me reminds me that I’m far from perfect so it isn’t going to happen…

Then I came across a tweet/link (I can’t really remember which) about taking 30 seconds while you run. For 30 seconds ignore everything and look around you. Awaken the visual. The next 30 seconds, listen carefully to what’s around you. Awaken the audio. The next 30 seconds, concentrate on your pace and gait. Focus on feeling the run. Then finally, focus on your breathing (something I’m regularly monitoring). Okay, so 2 minutes of your run NOT thinking about anything BUT the “here and now”.

I did it this morning for the first time and it made a world of difference–my anxieties disappeared after a few repetitions of the 2 minutes. I had a truly therapeutic, rewarding run. Thank you @girlcanrun, the tweet from a few days ago, and someone whose running and triathlon prep has been really remarkable, @twerick http://nadarpedalearycorrer.blogspot.com/2011/11/un-ano-corriendo.html (in Spanish).

My new mantra…take 30 seconds!

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