My Continued Running Adventure: self-awareness during the run

a few weeks ago, I was working a Sunday (just like today) and decided to schedule my weekend run for my lunch break.  the first time, the course kicked my ass, so much that I was “forced to walk.” Today I ran the same course and again, it was grueling.  I walked a bit, but not much.  I stopped to stretch a few times, and did my best to keep on trucking.  I finished the 2 mi course without having to cut it short like I did last time.  I found myself thinking about all the online Social Media posts I see about people running half marathons and trail runs and being insanely jealous.  How is it that someone like me, with a running history and knowledge of how to successfully train, has such a hard time just running two miles, and these people (some of whom have a similar background, and some who do not) are able to bust their butts and get a half marathon in?!

It dawned on me as I was thinking about this that I really don’t feel terrible.  I feel tired, sure.  Out of energy, definitely.  I’m not in pain though.  I’m not having any trouble breathing.  So what’s holding me back?  This particular course is one that I can never complete without walking.  and its only 2 miles.  No hills.  No curves worth mentioning.  just straight out and back along a frontage road.  Then it hit me: This course is BORING!  I have nothing going on to take my mind of being tired.  Nothing to stimulate my attention or imagination.  I know already that this is the reason that I prefer trail running.  It’s ADHD Heaven.  So much stimulation from everywhere!  Animals, rocks, roots, horse poo… trails require less attention to where your going and more attention to how you get there.  I am going to keep running this boring 2 mile course every weekend I work, not because it’s a good physically demanding course to run on, but because it’s mentally demanding.  I want to develop that mental toughness to get through the blahs of feeling less than great with nothing to take my mind off that less-than-great-ness.

Now, instead of feeling like I had a sucky run, I feel like I’ve accomplished something.  Now, if only I could figure out where all this energy is supposed to come from, maybe I can tap into it and get back in to half marathon shape before I die…

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