Pushing Yourself

Thursday, January 8, 2009

marathon runner from here

So if you are getting tired of hearing me talk about my current running regime, you might want to stop reading her, but maybe not. You never know where I might wander...

Last night was the "short run" of the week. It was a measly 2 miles. I look forward to these because I usually pepper the short run with a few hills just to keep me honest. I realized last night as I was running (in a perfect 43 degrees) that most of the time when I run I put just enough effort into it to finish, to get it done. Don't get me wrong, I really do love to run, but I sort of set my body on auto pilot and let it do it's thing. This way, I can disengage from the physical part.

You see, I didn't start running until I was in my 30s. I could never really do it (or so I thought). I always had my asthma excuse. Then I had the "walking is so much better for you excuse." Then I had the "I'm in college and need to be doing aerobics with everyone else excuse." Then in my 30s, I didn't have enough money to join anywhere to do aerobics, and I thought that walking just wasn't doing it for me, so I tried running. I was in pretty good shape to start, so that was a great help.

As I began running more and more, I discovered that the thing I didn't like about running all those years was hearing myself breathe. Yes, you read right, breathe. Hearing myself breathe hard indicated that I was working really hard (too hard) and made me want to stop. As I think back, it was never about my legs hurting, or my back, it was always about breathing. So, to combat that, I started running with a Walkman (and now my ipod!). Voila! No more listening to my quick or laboring breath!

Running then became for me my way of being alone. My way of being away from the family for a little bit. My way of escaping. It is still that escape. I let my body go on auto pilot; disengage from the physical side and just let my mind roam. Sometimes I think about work, other times about the kids. Often times I think about all of you, and what you have said lately. I think of what I want to say to you. I think of funny stuff, I think of serious stuff, and I think of sad stuff.

Last night, however, my mind was just not having it. So, I decided to push myself. Imagine that, actually concentrate on the physical side. What a run it was. It was exhilarating. It was hard. It was helpful. It was awesome! For the last 3/4 mile, I just concentrated on my muscles, and pushed them. I ran hard. I ran fast. I had good form. I was breathing. It was great!

I vow to do that more often, to push myself. However, I also know that for me, first and foremost, running is my escape. I need that time to be alone with my thoughts. To be alone in the cool dark Kansas winter night. Things happen for me while I am running, and I am not willing to lose that alone time for a few stronger muscles!


2 Responses to “Pushing Yourself”
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I trained for a marathon once (which is exactly how many times anyone should-give or take)

I used to try and separate my emotions from my body so that I could get through those last really tough miles. I'd picture my thigh muscles as machinery.

the whole process of running, or pushing yourself physically is so much about emotions it's crazy.

wow! what a great post! and it makes me think that i really should get out there and run (and i will, as soon as i get rid of this stupid cough, which kicks in every time i step out in the cold air--it's in the 20s here these days). i know, excuses, excuses, but what you say rings so true...it's always about the breathing for me too...the legs can totally take it, it's the breath that can't. but i will try again. you're inspiring me. so please keep writing about this, i think i need it.

and i so have a great WV, but will save it for balderdash...it's perfect in light of your post there today!