Tag Archives: Positive Attitude

The Joy of Running

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The restart button worked.  After a much-needed two-week rest from running, I am relishing my runs again.

A rest period did not mean I was doing nothing towards my fitness. I still enjoyed other activities like spin, weight training and even skiing. However, not running was bringing me down. I started to feel lazy. I hate feeling lazy. I had to constantly remind myself that proper rest is not the same as being lazy. It is all part of the training. Like when you need a great vacation after a long period of hard work, not just the break of the weekend.

On Saturday I looked forward to my first morning run with excitement. I didn’t have a plan for distance or course. I just went for a run. Spring air could be felt on the kiss of a cool breeze with the temperature at +46 degrees. I didn’t look at my watch. I didn’t try to go fast or pace to other runners.  I just ran wherever my legs and heart felt like going.

I ran the hilly streets near my house and over to the park for a loop around the lake. I did a second loop without realizing. I forgot I was running. I saw a path for a hill and suddenly was halfway up the incline. I saw a road I hadn’t run in a while and pranced on over to run it without giving a second thought about the distance, gradation and terrain.

My mind was clear and relaxed. My legs had a spring again. I could hear the inspiring musings of the infamous painter Bob Ross from the PBS television show The Joy of Painting calmly reminding me that it’s my world. I can do whatever I want in it.

Moving in a peaceful flow my mind started to paraphrase Bob Ross’s popular quotes to running: “The road is your canvas. It’s your world, run wherever you want. In running you have unlimited power.  See a happy little tree or a titanium white cloud floating by in the sky.”

The Joy of Running

Reflecting on The Joy of Painting lead me to think about the art of running. I was reminded of the philosophical phrase- Does life imitate art or art imitate life?  Is there any separation between running and life or are they mirror images of each other? Sometimes life is reflected in the run and other times the run is reflected in life. Or does everything come from the root of life?  A deep philosophical question to ponder during a run! (And one that has been poetically expressed in the works of Oscar Wilde.)

If I have a great run, my day is always better. If I have a lousy run, my day is never quite balanced. If I’m under a lot of stress or pressure from life, my run can sometimes imitate that sentiment causing me to drag my feet and have a tough run while other times it helps me to process and cope with stress.

When I finally got back home I had run 8 beautiful, easy miles. I felt amazing and the runner’s high stuck with me throughout the entire day.  To me, life is always better after a run.

Life is Always Better After a Run

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Quit Complaining! It’s Your Choice

Would you like some cheese with your whine?  It’s so easy to whine and complain.  Sometimes it seems like there’s more inspiration behind the act of complaining than in the act of being positive.  The groans can roll off your tongue so quickly. While complaining can make you feel better, for the short-term, it also brings on a wave of negativity to you and those you are complaining and commiserating with.

I could easily allow myself to whine and complain throughout my runs and workouts.  This past week of marathon training was tough, with high temperatures and relentless humidity.  I tipped in with a total weekly mileage of 35 (my max to date) that included Hill Repeats.  I am also very busy at work where there’s never any downtime thanks to the Blackberry which means I am constantly carving out pockets of precious time to spend with my 7-year-old twin girls.  How easy it would be to say I don’t have enough time or I’m too tired or it’s just too hard.

Nah. I don’t choose that option.  I choose to limit my grumblings if not avoid it altogether.   Doing so makes me feel better and stronger.  I have enough challenges to conquer with marathon training and work/life balance as a full-time working mom, that I see no value in adding ‘complaining’ as a means  of motivation and inspiration.

I have a habit of immediately looking for a solution whenever I’m confronted with a problem.  If I want to run the marathon, I need to train.  That means, even when it’s hot, humid, raining or whether I feel tired, bloated, achy… I need to get out and train.  It’s very hard work.  I might as well embrace the challenge of new behavior rather than blanket it with a negativity of complaints that will only slow me down.

Here is how I felt running last week in the high humidity and heat:  soaking wet through my socks, my eyes stinging from a non-stop waterfall of sweat down my forehead, a scratchy throat from the occasional gnat that flew into my mouth and when I paused for a sip of water my body was so burning hot that steam was rising off my arms.  That is how I felt.  What I kept thinking is that all these difficult sensations that I had to learn to run with are merely part of the training process.  I was reminded of this awesome quote: “Don’t Be Upset By The Results You Didn’t Get With The Work You Didn’t Do”.  I decided to grab the challenge, store it in my (sweaty) pocket and plan to bring it out at the marathon.

When I feel my mind wanting to drift into the Land of Excuses, sabotaging my will-power to keep going, to keep pushing, I remind myself of that phrase.  I will not put myself in a state of denial about my true actions.  I do not plan on running the NYC Marathon wondering if I trained enough.  I want to wake up that morning feeling 100% prepared physically and mentally to get up and just run all 26. 2 miles. No regrets.  I don’t believe you can lie, cheat or trick your body into running a marathon. Anything I DIDN’T do in training will reveal itself at some point over 26.2 miles.    I want to avoid or at least limit that kind of result from happening so that indeed I will be smiling across the finish line!

Pushing thru a heat wave at the NYRR Queens 10k in Flushing Meadow – July 2012

 

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