When I run, I have time to think… a lot

When I got the crazy notion in my head to do this half marathon, I didn’t realize all the benefits I would get.  What began as a question to myself has blossomed into something so much more.  I wasn’t expecting all the changes in me and they are the quiet surprises that make me smile while I’m icing down my ankle or knee.

At first, I needed to accomplish running 3 miles just to start the recommended training schedule.  The first time I went for it, I doubted myself.  It was hard to wrap my brain around that idea.  As silly as that seems to me now, it was a mental barrier that I had built for myself.  That first time I inched past 2.5 miles, I told myself ‘ok, just run to 2.6 miles, now 2.7 miles, now 2.8’.  Once I got there, I knew I could finish and so I did.  I was proud of myself for pushing my body and overcoming an obstacle (albeit mental one).  Now that I had done that, I could start the training schedule!

Megan and I found one that we felt comfortable with and seemed doable.  It has us running Mon/Wed/Thurs and then BIG run on Sat.  The first week was 3,3,3 and BIG run 4 for a total of 13 miles that week.  The second week was 3,4, 3 and BIG run 5 miles for a total 15 miles.  Then last week was 3,4, 3 and BIG run of 6 miles for a total of 16 miles.  This week we have done 3,5, 3 and our BIG run of 8 comes Saturday.  With every Saturday increasing the mileage, I had talked my brain into believing that 1 more mile won’t really be that bad.  Will I notice it?  Yes.  Will I die?  No. 

Then I noticed the jump on Saturday.  We are going from 6 to 8!  My brain is having trouble with this particular transition.  While it can process 1 itty bitty mile (that’s what I tell myself) extra, it has an extreme problem with this big jump.  2 more miles!?!  Hmmm… I suppose this is where that mental toughness comes into play.  Who is bigger and badder?  Me and my determination or my chicken little mind and body?  I refuse to lose. 

It’s hard to explain to people why this means so much to me.  While on vacation last week, people commented why was I running?  I was on vacation and my ankle was jacked.  I just said that regardless of if I run this week or not, I have 13.1 miles to run on October 19th.  In part it was true but the real truth is a little harder to explain.

My entire philosophy on life is that God made us with greatness inside us.  Each of us has a duty to become the better us we can be.  Maybe sometimes it comes easily and sometimes, we have to fight toothand nail towards it.  I believe this half marathon is helping me ‘become’.  I’m learning a lot in these weeks.  Not just about myself but about my body and treating it right.  I’ve learned that I need to listen to my body when it tells me things and I need to treat it right if I want it to treat me right.  Meaning, I need to fill it with goodness.  Drinking and smoking (because I only smoke when I drink) aren’t conducive to running well and so I need to make sure I’m not doing that on the nights before I run.  I also need to eat well.  The more that I train, the more contentious of what foods I’m putting into my body.  Not only mine but my family’s bodies as well.  Drinking enough water is something I struggle with but I can safely say, I’ve dramatically reduced my caffeine intake now.  No more pot of coffee in the morning for me.  I might have a cup or two but then I really feel like it’s enough.

What have I learned about my body?  Well, I’ve for sure learned that I can do more than I ever thought I could.  I know that I can push myself and do it even if it’s hard or hurts.  And I’ve learned that I actually like the process.  My mother in law jokingly made a reference to me being a sado-masochist but in reality, I don’t enjoy the pain, I enjoy making my body do what it doesn’t want to do.  During my 6 mile run, I wanted to quit over and over.  It was hot.  I was alone.  My muscles ached in my calves.  My knee throbbed and my ankle had daggers shooting in it.  A teeny voice told my brain that if I just stopped and walked, no one had to know.  But I would know.  And I could never tell anyone that I had done it if I really, truly hadn’t done it.  So, I pressed on and I’ll press on Saturday too.  It will feel great when it’s done.

And so, this is what I’ve figured out so far.  I’m looking forward to what I discover ahead of me.  Lord knows, I got time.  8 miles… how long do you think that takes???

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About Chris

These are the pieces of my life and those that make it worth living
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5 Responses to When I run, I have time to think… a lot

  1. Dizzy says:

    Chris, you are an inspiration. Here I am doing 30 min of cardio on the treadmill and having to push myself to do 10 min more and then 10 min more. THEN do weights. I will stop grumbling when I go since you are totally kicking my ass! 🙂

  2. Megan LeRoux says:

    WOW Lady, I never knew you were so deep. You should be telling me all this stuff when we are running so that we don’t have to think about how much further we have to go. All this time I thought the silence was you trying to breath, you sure had me fooled. WE CAN DO THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Tracy Kinney says:

    So!?!?! how was it? did you survive your 8 miles? I am so proud of you for doing this–i am thrilled that you are finding it to be so rewarding. I can’t wait to meet up at the finish line and savor the vicotry of finishing our first HALF MARATHON!!!

  4. Chris says:

    Dizzy
    I don’t think I’m an inspiration at all, except maybe to myself. I’m really proud of me and am suprising myself along the way. I’m really proud of ALL of my friends that are staying dedicated to working out regularly no matter what it is! It’s hard to keep motivated and it inspires me when I know my friends are out there working out too. You be proud of what you’re accomplishing! I’m proud of you!

    Megan
    Seriously? You had no idea I was deep? I better talk more often (is that possible?). Thanks for doing this hair brained scheme with me. And yes, sometimes (like big hills) I really am trying to breath but then I talk smack to myself in my head. We CAN do this!

    Tracy
    How is your training going? Are you totally down for this? And yes, we’ll be there at the finish line for sure. Thanks for inspiring me to do this 😀

    And I have to give credit to my friend Traci (not to be confused with Tracy) for banging her head into the wall, telling me again and again to eat breakfast. Only a really good friend would care enough to say it so many times.

  5. Traci says:

    Thanks dude! I have to put in my two sense somewhere since I can’t train with you guys : )!

    I’m so proud of you! I’ll be there on race day to cheer you on! Does “Eye of the Tiger” work for you? I’m pretty sure when I did my final sprint to the finish line in my 5K it was going through my head!

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