If you follow me on social media, you are probably aware that not only am running the New York City marathon in November, I’ve joined a local running group to help me train along the way. NEVER did I imagine that I would love being apart of a running group. I say love loosely though, because Wednesday’s we run in the evening when it is beyond hot and Saturday’s we run at 5:30am when my mind body and soul want to be spooning with my pillows… Which is why I’ve avoided the Saturday am long runs for as long as possible. Long as possible had come to its end and I committed myself to the next early morning long run.
I physically and mentally had to prepare myself all day Friday. Hydrate. Early dinner. Bed at 8. I also prepared myself mentally for a 10 mile run. It would be a challenge, but definitely doable. Suffice to say, when I showed up and found out we were doing 12 miles, I regretted ever leaving my goose-down haven. Though I had prepared myself to wake up and be ready for this run, I was not at all physically ready for 12 long miles. I’ve been logging my miles, sure, but not long run mileage. I hadn’t done more than 7 miles in one run in several weeks. Which left me feeling like ‘fuuu**’.
Early Morning Run Advantages:
1. The sun is not beating you down.
2. You really don’t know where you’ve been or where you’re going.
3. The first 6 miles feel like a dream. Not like McDreamy, but a state of running in your sleep.
Even with those 3 advantages, you can’t avoid the avoidable wall of physical and mental exertion.
Which started to set in at 9 miles.
I call this wall my ‘Come to Jesus’ because I basically go through every tough time I’ve had and remind myself that I can push through this too. And any other distraction that may provide encouragement…
you can rest at the next water station.
you’ve run more than this before.
you’re not alone out here.
you’ve given birth. you can totally handle this.
remember that 5 hour tattoo session that you sat through and didn’t kill the tattoo artist or yourself even though you thought about it…
All the while pushing as hard as I can to finish.
Just get it done.
Pump your arms and push up the hill.
Just get it done.
The faster you go, the sooner you will finish.
On mile 9 of this first early morning run I found myself turning to head up a hill and was already cramping when the same old ‘come to jesus’ rant started and i literally told myself to shut the fuck up.
Stop pushing yourself so hard.
Give yourself a break.
Take your time.
Instead of powering through the pain and lack of breath, I slowed down, felt the cramping and breathed through it. (basically everything I learned in birthing classes)
Physically, I felt less strain in my arms and ass and more of a bouncing effect. My heart rate slowed, my body relaxed and I bounced, one foot at a time, up that hill.
((((((sound the angels)))))))
On the down hill, I found myself thinking about how hard I am on myself. I’m constantly pushing to finish not only as quickly as possible, but with the best results possible; No matter how bad it hurts, physically/emotionally/mentally.
The underlying current is hurry up and finish; be it at work, finishing a run, or hell, trying to have an orgasm. I’m trying to force the best results in the least amount of time and shushing the voice of reason saying;
‘Ummm, can we get a minute? Just got here, getting a feel for the land, kind of like it, maybe we could slow down and enjoy ourselves?’
Slowing down that morning allowed me to listen to my body and my thoughts. There was no ‘grinding’ it out, but instead an awareness of my discomfort. I gave myself permission to go slow and walk when I needed to. Don’t get me wrong, I was hurtin’ for certain, but mentally, it was SO MUCH EASIER.
Since that morning, I’ve been applying this attitude to my daily life, especially at work. (okay, yes with orgasms too… 😉 When I find myself slipping into a forceful approach, I catch myself and correct it. Much like running, it takes conditioning and practice, everyday. And I’m A-OK with practicing feeling more, being present and most importantly, taking it easy on myself.