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, 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!


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

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

  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, 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.

  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)

  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.