I’ve taken a two week hiatus from running this Winter. This is the first break I have taken from running since the birth of my third son 18 months ago. I might have gone a few days without running due to illness or scheduling but I didn’t even miss running this time.
I knew it wasn’t going to be the most pleasant run physically or emotionally for me. All the little “can’t do its” in my head start to creep up and I start thinking all the hard work I have put in over the last year and a half might be lost forever.
We all know this is completely untrue.
I started my run around 11:30 am. It was 10 degrees and while the snow on the ground wasn’t fresh, it was clumped together in ice and what wasn’t solid was like running in a few inches of beach sand. When in doubt, I always wear YakTrax. It’s just not worth an injury slipping and sliding out there. It isn’t even falling that super concerns me. It’s the car that runs over my body in the road after I have fallen. Morbid I know, but you really gotta run smart.
I started my run slightly too fast. The push off was tiresome and I started beating myself up over how difficult it was for me to keep up the pace. It wasn’t my body failing me, however, it was keeping up just fine. My brain was having a tough time accepting I was out there. I was wishing the run was over before it even really started. Thankfully, I did something really sappy to give myself a boost when I knew I would feel low…
Before I even set foot out of the driveway, I wrote “RUN HAPPY” in the snow.
Running makes me so happy all the time. There aren’t a lot of runs I set myself up to be unhappy, either. Whether I am trying to achieve a certain goal like distance or pace, I am still happy just being out there doing what I do best…taking life one big step at a time.
So, at mile 2, when I decided to walk 5 steps because I swear it took everything to just keep going at that moment, I said OUT LOUD, “Run happy.” There is nothing I needed to beat myself up over out there, today. It’s a easy run day in less than ideal running conditions. Today is the perfect day to accept the physical pain and get my brain to remember happy running is why I am out there in the first place.
These “parallel to life” moments happen in running all the time for me. How many times have I had to barrel through something painful with a smile on my face? Many times. Get up, get it done, work hard, and be happy.
When I ran in, I was relieved to be done. The bottom line is I got out there and did it. Even though it was tough, and hopefully the toughest for while here, I thought when I could get out there again. Maybe tomorrow?
Are there ways you remind yourself to run happy or be happy in your life?