Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Running happy

It's funny how our perception of something is really what decides our feelings towards a given situation.  I have been training for an upcoming 10K in June.  The Saturday before Easter I set out for my long run for the week.  About a mile in to the run I decided to do a nearly 4.5 mile route with a massive hill.  I had ran the same course early in the winter and had to walk right around the 4 mile mark.  I not only completed the 4.5 mile course, I felt great afterwards!  I could have kept going but what I have learned from running in the past is that it is best to stop at the goal point rather than to keep going and possibly get too tired or strain something.  So, I ended that run feeling awesome, like I could take on the world, and that the 10K in June was going to be easy as pie.
Flash forward to this past Sunday.  I had mapped out the same course plus an extra half mile to make a 5 mile run.  My own personal style of race training is to try to do the full race distance with about a month to spare.  I have a tight/troublesome right IT band that does not do well unless I slowly build to my goal.  The day was very windy but other than that, beautiful.  The first couple of miles felt great.  By the third mile I was running into the wind, which completely changes my stride.  By the fourth mile my IT band started to hurt.  The outside of my right leg, from my knee to my hip, begins to get a cramp, then pain, then I sometimes have to stop.  Not wanting to overdo it I decided to start walking.  Immediate thoughts of failure pop into my head.  I began doubting if I should even do the 10K.  I finished out my run by alternating running with walking, and "only" did the 4.5 mile path.  A distance that was, just one week earlier, an exhilarating accomplishment had now become a let down.  As I was cooling down I tried to focus on the positive.  That I was able to do 4.5 miles.  That I went out to run even though I knew the wind would be in my way.  I also recalled what my hot yoga instructor always mentions as we practice tree pose, a pose where you stand on one leg.  She reminds us to not focus on the fact that we may be wobbly on one leg, but to be thankful, that if needed, we have two strong legs to stand on.  I indeed have two strong legs to stand on, that allow me not only to run but to walk, practice Pilates and Yoga, carry my children, drive my car, ride a bike, and do so many other things that I take for granted.  I moved past my pity party and enjoyed the beautiful spring evening.

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