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Enjoy the miles…

July 17, 2011

Today I had one of those runs.  Actually today and yesterday I had one of those runs.  Neither were particularly long, or should have been particularly hard, but I had to fight negative thoughts from creeping in on both occasions.

“Your legs feel like lead.  You’re not training enough.”

“If you were ten pounds lighter, this would be easier.”

“You’re this tired on mile 4?  How are you going to run the half in September?”

“They look like real runners, you don’t look like a real runner.”

You know the type.  (Or maybe you’re a super positive runner who has mastered the art of blocking those nagging thoughts.  Do you really exist?)  Physically, there is no doubt – I was feeling crappy.  I’m likely fighting off a flu bug and I was dehydrated today.  How I was actually feeling in the flesh and blood affected my pace, and I let that affect my emotions.  (Emotional stimulation can be helpful if utilized in the right way – I clearly was beating myself up for a fairly trivial thing.  So my pace slipped on a run?  In the long run, who cares?)

Finally, about 2 miles from home, I turned off the Garmin and said to myself, “Carrie, who cares about pace? Do what feels good and just enjoy the run home.”  So I did.  I talked to Lola (my dog – yeah, I’m one of those people), I stopped to look at street art, I laughed at my own shuffle-jog, I salivated over upcoming brunch.  I thought about how nice it was to take deep breaths and let myself have one of those, “life is so good, oxygen feels great, how awesome is it that I have legs to run, I need to take advantage of this at all times” moments.  And I let myself have it.

I tend to get so caught up with results:  My final pace after a run, the monthly numbers for my business, the taste of a new recipe – I forget to let myself get caught up in the moment.  Once I told myself that I didn’t care about my pace and gave myself the luxury of just enjoying the process, a “failure” run turned into a teachable moment for myself.  Sometimes I simply need to give myself the freedom to enjoy the mile

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