Saturday, April 23, 2011

gratitude... even on a rainy day

This morning I work up excited to doa 3 or 4 mile route to coach GOTR. Then I realized it was POURING and GOTR was moved inside. Running to an indoor practice in the rain seemed like a bad call, so I drove. Indoor practice today was focused on gratitude and the girls were so thoughtful with their reflection on thankfulness! We also did yoga, since running really didn't work in the room, and I was happy to see the girls really liked it. I wish I was exposed to yoga so young! After GOTR it was off to a delicious brunch of goldenrod (a dish of hard boiled eggs, toast, bacon, and a special sauce), fruit salad, and mimosas all made by the lovely Norah Janson. After such a relaxing morning I was in no mood to run in the nasty weather.

I knew I'd have an off day soon. I've been excited and motivated to work out for days upon days recently, so an unmotivated day was bound to happen. Today was rainy and yucky plus it was the first day in months that my asthma started bothering me (the longest stretch in years!). Thus, I had plenty of excuses not to run. However, my rest days are built into my schedule when I work three days in a row and the last time I ran was a week ago. So, I convinced myself to get running clothes on for one simple reason: I thought of how mad at myself I'd be later if I didn't run. And off I went! 

I figured I'd treat myself by starting off going down the steep hill I usually walk up toward the end of my run. Excellent move- I felt happy as soon as my feet hit the pavement and the whole way down, even though it was tricky on the steep and slippery hill. After this though, the endorphins stopped suddenly and I was again reminded of the fact that I did not want to be running. This was compounded as I hit flat road and the asthma kicked in. Not to mention the fact that the Under Armour I was wearing was way too hot for the weather. If you think I'm complaining now, you should have heard the self-talk that was going on between mile one and mile two!

I'd like to say the endorphins kicked in by mile two- not so. I headed up long, moderately steep hill. I pushed hard for two reasons 1) I wanted to be done ASAP  and 2) I had to meet up with Liz after my run. Loving the run was definitely not one of them. I kept pushing for the rest of the run but to be honest, I was just not happy to be running. I felt motivated for the last 1/10th of a mile only because I could see my house- and I sprinted to it!

Why am I talking about a miserable run? Because I think its an important piece of the fitness puzzle. Getting in shape is a really difficult habit to start and a really easy habit to break. Today was just a day where I hit a wall. I wasn't tired or injured, I just didn't feel like being active. For me, that's the excuse that spirals me into missing multiple days of exercise which I know leaves me feeling sluggish and unhappy. I just had to force myself to exercise today, which is OK once in awhile.

Here's the silver lining of "bad" days- often, they will surprise you. Many times I feel happy to be running/swimming/etc as soon as I actually start the activity. But even when on days like today when that hapiness doesn't strike, pushing myself is still rewarding. For example- today I set out to do 3 miles and changed my route part way through to mix up the scenery. I ended up doing 4.5 miles in 40 minutes. I went further and faster than I had in a long time- and realizing that is what finally triggered some happy running endorphins!


Motivation shows up sometimes when you least expect it and I need to take a page from my GOTR coahing handbooke and remember to be grateful for that :)

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