Thursday, August 2, 2012

on running

The last few runs I have had have been just awful. The podcast in my head has been very full of noise -- things to do, projects, ideas, news I have heard/discovered, books I have read, etc., etc., etc. It feels so loud I can't settle into a rhythm and I end up stopping and having to walk. And walking seems to create a voice in my head to start beating me up about being a failure (yes--very melodramatic of me, I know) which doesn't help motivate me to start running again.

Last Saturday I had to run 6 miles to keep up with my half marathon training. It started out well -- the air was cool, the sky was clear, the sun was shining. About 1km in, my nose started bleeding. Which sucked. But I didn't want to turn around and give up so I ran to the nearest gas station to get napkins. And then walked while I waited for the bleeding to stop (also, I need to stop watching movies. Right away I was sure my nose started bleeding because I was going to die. The number 1 sign in a movie that the protagonist is deathly ill is a sporadically bleeding nose). The walking made it more difficult to get back into my run and the negative white noise started up in my head. Rainman had offered to meet me at the 5k point with water (this is one of the reasons I know he's the one I am going to marry --he got up at 7 a.m. on a Saturday to drive water to me while I was running. Best. Boyfriend. Ever.) and I was a mess by the time we met up. I was crying and there were blood drips all over my legs -- he probably thought I had been in an accident, not just having a bad run. And he let me get into his car, with my tail between my legs, and cry the whole way home about how much I suck. And then he gave me a hug and made me laugh and told me I was awesome albeit ridiculous. And that I wasn't going to die. I love that guy.

On Wednesday, I just needed to put in a quick 3 miles. I went after work and again, the negativity got to me and I found myself walking and halfheartedly running the entire distance. I did make myself do the entire route though. Running usually clears my head, so I don't know WTF is going on here. I spoke with some friends on Twitter and it was recommended to listen to music or an actual podcast to distract myself. I promised myself that I would get up early this morning and try it out.

I did get up early this morning. And I did do my 3 miles. I didn't use music or a podcast. I used my head to just constantly tell myself to get to the next light post or just to the top of the hill or I could already see the mall which meant I was almost done. And this time it worked. I ran the entire 3 miles with no walking. And it was exactly what I needed to regain my confidence in running.

Some things that I need to remember:

  • I need to increase the protein I am eating. Right now I am living on veggies and pasta.
  • I need to keep hydrating myself all day, not just right after my runs
  • I need to upload music into my iPhone to bring with me. My longer runs are going to need the distraction for sure.
  • Everyone has bad runs and really fabulous runs. That's life. I need to stop beating myself up on the bad ones and remember those feelings of awesome from the great runs.
  • That my real goal in this half marathon is to finish it. It's not about time or if I needed to walk. And no one is going to look down on me or stop loving me or lose pride in me if I finish last.
Running is supposed to be my escape and I really do love it. I think part of the issue is this pressure of being prepared for the half. And all of that pressure is causing a bit of noise that I can't run away from. If you run, how do you keep yourself going when its a tough day?


unabashedlyashley said...

Ok I'm starting a fan page for Rainman on FB. Alright maybe not because that would be borderline creepy but he is awesome :)

I hope the running goes better for you. Don't worry, you'll find your stride ;)

Laura said...

That would be a great fan page! :) He smiled when I told him about this.