This morning I ran 18 miles. Although it wasn't a bowl of cherries, it was a break-through. After several weeks in a row of crappy runs and self-defeating thoughts, I was able to push through and remember the joy that comes from completing a very daunting distance.
Over the past week, I've had some helpful conversations. Of course, the Huz has been great. He offers great insight into thought patterns and how we might be able to change them (again, bonus of being married to a shrink!) I also reached out to some of my running friends - both real and online - who have all gone through the same mental struggles. I have to remind myself every now and then that there is a world of resources out there, one just has to be open to ask.
I did a few things differently today. First off, I ran with my iPod. I was trying out a whole Zen approach to running the past few months, and for a while it really worked! I was able to just enjoy being outside and alone with my thoughts. Once I got passed 10 miles, however, my thoughts would begin to turn against me.
"Wow, this is hard. Let's stop and walk. You're slow. This sucks."
After a while, my body started believing all it was hearing. I decided that music would help keep my mind occupied so it would lay off my body a little bit. Good move! I loaded up my playlist with some great tunes - lots of inspirational ones - and this one even brought me to tears today:
Another thing I did was change up my route. Instead of the same roads I always take, I decided to head back into my hometown and run some roads from the past. Excellent idea!
Finally - and most effective - I enlisted a "support crew!" My Mom was only too happy to meet me a few spots along the course with water, a towel and encouraging words. Knowing that she was just 3 miles down the road really helped keep me going. Thank you, Mom.
So now I am feeling better about things. I think I can do this and do it right. Even if I don't break any records, I will finish this race, and it will be a stronger finish than my last one.
New Years resolutions? Nah, not me. Instead, I will leave you with some inspiration that I jacked from today's Dear Abby column: