Yesterday, I was reading old entries in my journal, and stumbled across this particularly alarming excerpt that I had written about a year ago:
"I kept telling myself: I'm training for a half marathon. But, I put my real success in weight loss from running. That'''s why I' didn't succeed with running. When you feel like a failure from running because your tummy is bloated, you'll never make it to the race."
I knew how true that was then, but now, only after re-reading it, I also realize how sad it is. I thought reading something like this would only prolong my running rut, however, it did the opposite. When I woke up the next morning it was freezing, pouring rain and very windy. A complete contrast to the beautiful fall weather we have been having. Normally, without being in a exercise rut, I would have said it was the perfect excuse to delay a run again. However, after having read that part of my journal, I thought, no, today is the perfect day for a run!
I had more energy and motivation than I had in a long, long, longgggggg time! I am attributing this feeling to my own words from the past. I have been feeling particularly bad lately. Very uncomfortable, stressed, anxious, all accompanied with lots of tummy distress and BLOATING beyond what I can remember ever experiencing. But, having all of these feelings still intact, I decided, I don''t care, I'm suiting up, and whether I run one kilometer or fifteen, I am going on this run.
I was intending to run a 2km loop lake trail so I could run in 2km intervals and keep adding distance depending on how I felt. On the way there, my car was giving me some trouble (surprise, surprise), so I decided to stop midway, bringing me to another trail. I had ran this one before, but only when I was doing my long distance runs during my half marathon training. It seemed very daunting to run this path as my first run in months! Just before I took off, I gave myself complete forgiveness if it wasn't the best run, and permission to stop whenever I felt it necessary. I promised myself that along this path there would be zero judgements, and I would honor whatever sensations my body was feeling.
When I got out of my car I was freezing! The idea of a walking warm-up went right out the door! I started with a nice, light jog to warm my chilled bones. I instantly felt that I had been robbing my body of this amazing feeling. I vowed to give this myself this pleasure as much as possible. No excuse would be worth discrediting these good feelings.
The rain and wind went from bothersome and cold to welcoming and refreshing. My hair and feet were soaked within seconds, but my super-wicked-awesome North Face jacket and lulu running tights were doing just the trick! I knew my body was capable of quite a distance today, and when I feel that way, I take full advantage. I ran, and ran, and when I realized I was already 5 kms from my starting point I couldn't believe it. I figured I would be so unconditioned that my lung would fall on the ground after 1km. I decided to turn back knowing I would cover at least 10km. Getting into the 6th kilometer, runners high kicked in! Ahhhhh, there we go, now this is what I was really missing. My whole body started buzzing and autopilot took over. I was trying my best to be aware of my hip and knee and not push myself into injury again. It felt so good, for the body, mind and soul :)
I finished the run with the greatest feeling! I hadn't felt that way in a long, long time! I was refreshed, physically drained, mentally calm, and at peace with myself. The fatigue in my body was so welcoming. I made a promise to myself and I intend to keep it. I also figure if I write it down I am more accountable to keeping it.
When I am physically fit and pushing my limits my mind, body and spirit are fantastic! Just because long distance is not for everyone, and people look at me strangely when I say how good it feels to run 10, 12, 15, 20k, I shouldn't care. They aren't judging me, they are just looking inward to themselves and thinking that is the last thing that they would want to do. That's them, and not me, and physically pushing myself through running is what keeps me centered and makes me feel great! Under no circumstances should anyone let what keeps them balanced get away.
So, why do we let it? I have yet to understand this or come to term with why we allow ourselves to do this when we continually are trying to eliminate what is seen as bad and get as much of the good. Personally, my ruts are do to my emotional side. I let so much emotion and feeling bring me down that I cannot seem to feel worthy of feeling good. My stresses become so overwhelming that I can only concentrate on them. I neglect myself in the process, and think that with all the negative feelings I shouldn't be happy or at least don't deserve to rid myself of anxiety.
It''s a messed up cycle but I feel that there is a solution. Right now, running in the solution! And homemade Cinnabon Granola :) Recipe coming next...