Sunday, 15 August 2010

Running and Mind Games

I went for a run tonight.  By run, I mean walk, then run, then walk, then run, then pant, then walk, then walk, then run...

It was the first time I've been running for about 6 years or more.  I thought I hated running.  Turns out I don't!

I wasn't intending to run, really.  I had mentioned to Kevin at suppertime that I was thinking about going for a run.  Juliana looked at me incredulously and said "Really?" in the most skeptical tone a 3-year-old can muster.  We all laughed (including Nico) at the absurd idea of me exercising in general, and running in particular.

Then after supper, I wasn't feeling well, and the kids were a bit cranky, and I didn't want to abandon Kevin with them just before bedtime.  We got the kids in bed, and as I settled down to read my magazine, Kevin said, "So are you going running?"  I said no, I wasn't feeling well.  But an hour later, after finishing my magazine, I finally got off my butt, put on some running-appropriate clothes, dug my shoes out of the basement, and said "I'm going for a walk."

I didn't think I would run.  I had so many excuses.  "I'm out of shape.  I have bad knees.  Certain muscles that haven't yet recovered from childbirth could lead to embarrassing situations."  I would tell myself "I can't go out and run, I have to look after the kids.  It's too much work to get ready to exercise.  I hate running.  Running is boring.  It's too late/dark to run.  I'd rather exercise in the morning before my shower.  I don't want to exercise alone.  I can't afford exercise classes.  I have too much other stuff to do..."  Etcetera Ad Libitum.

But as I ran (and walked), I started to think about how much I was enjoying myself.  How easy it was to get going.  I ran up to the main road, then along it to the west, around a pretty duck pond, and back home the same way. The sky was dusky with a pretty pink crescent moon, the wind perfectly cool, and I surprised myself! I could have also done the same run (with a little extra energy expended) with both kids in the bike trailer/stroller thing we have.

One of the articles I read in my magazine (Self), right before going out, was about brain training along with fitness training.  In a sidebar, there was a note about if you tell yourself you can't do something, then you can't.  Your body responds to what your brain tells it.  That stuck with me as I browsed the rest of the pages, and is ultimately what made me finally get off the couch.  I'm still feeling the glow of exercising and actually using my body.  I feel great, though my legs muscles feel a little like jelly at the moment.

I'm not saying I'll become an avid runner, get a svelte body, and run a marathon.  I may never go running again.  But if I ever say again how hard it is to get out and exercise, or how much I hate it, someone point me back to this post.

Edited to add: I just calculated my route on www.walkjogrun.net, and I went 4.56 kilometres in total!  Who knew I could go that far on my first time running in ages!  I once took a Learn to Run class that was for 5 km, and we didn't ever run 5k until the last day.  I guess I'm ready for the 10k class!

5 comments:

  1. You go girl...running, walking, panting...sounds like exercise to me and sounds like you had fun. Maybe...?

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  2. Way to go!!! You CAN do it!!! Good job :) Call me next time...

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  3. Joanna, this is exactly what I went through last night...I've been reading this book called "Born to Run" about the art of running and this tribe of superathletes in Mexico (I defintely recommend it http://borntorun.org/), and it has totally inspired me...I actually went for a run at 9pm last night and felt the same way you did. I had been putting it off for such a long time.

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  4. I love running! Early morning is the best time for me to run,it makes me feel invigorated throughout the day, and I wind up getting much more done. I feel better, my house winds up cleaner. :D I love going to aquafit classes in the morning for the same result. Carmen got me into that. I am trying to get derek to go with me, but he doesnt swim. I told him we wouldnt be swimming, we would be excersizing. lol
    pixie (gotta get a new google account, my old one is reinadagnino)

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  5. Good for you!!! I still find fitness pretty miraculous. That if we just attempt to go a little further, a little faster, and a little steeper, slowly but surely, our bodies get stronger and stronger.

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