I was supposed to get up at 6:15 and go for a run today. I decided to sleep in, due to a rough night. Well, doze really, as I didn’t actually fall back to sleep, but still…the not moving part was vital.
Then I was supposed to go to the gym during my lunch break and run on the treadmill. I figured it would be a good break for my knee and I could still complete my third run this week. Well, forgetting my sneakers threw a wrench in that plan and I had already tried the gym thing sans sneakers once this week and didn’t really feel like getting yelled at again by the centre staff.
So I promised myself I would go for a run as soon as Allan got off work at 6pm. And even though I was a bit nervous, I didn’t bail.
Why was I nervous? Well, see, there’s not exactly a lot of action going on in our area at 6:30 in the morning so I feel that I can huff and puff and attempt to run without being noticed. I find that reassuring. Nobody knows what it is I’m attempting to do. At 6:00 in the evening? Probably a different story. I was putting myself out there. Whoa.
I was also a bit nervous b/c for the first time, I was leaving the neighbourhood. I felt like a dog being let off its leash for the first time…charging with excitement but also rushing back to the familiar. The road ahead is new…it’s right there…but maybe I should stay in here though…no, I can do this…but it’s so cozy in here and I know the bumps…(you get the picture).
I did it! I ran out on the main road exposing myself to other runners and cars and it felt fantastic. I admit I thought I would get bored just running up the road and back, but I was enthralled by the scenery. Since I didn’t have to focus on when/how the street was turning (my neighbourhood is a series of blvds, so the roads turn a lot), I could actually look up and around. I noticed that, til now, I’ve been looking down while running. Looking up was amazing!
I passed by fields. I saw flowers. I saw water in the horizon. Dudes, I ran by a cow field. Ummm, let’s pause for a second. I ran by a cow field! I think it was when I saw the cows that I laughed out loud. Me! While running!
I felt empowered every time a car slowed down and drove around me (except for the one dude who didn’t and I felt that I was going to get hit…that was less empowering and more terrifying). I was causing a reaction. Me.
The route I took was 2.5K each way (or so says my husband). I didn’t run it straight out. I did stop at the 2.5K mark and walked for about 500m or so to rest my knee. But then I got right back into the run. Towards a rough spot at the end (up hill), I told myself I could stop when I reached a campground site sign, which was about 100m from my goal end point. I had to do this mostly b/c I could see the campground sign, whereas my end spot was hidden behind trees. So the campground sign became an achievable focus spot. The cool thing that happened though was when I reached the campground sign, I could see the original end spot and I kept going.
My knee hurt every second since starting out but I didn’t care b/c tonight…tonight, I was only fighting my body. Holy, I felt free! My mind was working with me for a change! No negative thoughts. No second guessing. No doubting. It was amazing. Pain I can handle; an uncooperative spirit I could not. Refreshingly, there were plenty of times throughout the run when my mind was blank. Whoa. New concept to this Type A overloaded crazed workhorse. Blank? What? ‘Twas though.
You know what I thought about at first? Well, besides laughing at the cows (cows! me! running! cows! you see the hilarity here.). You. All of you. I thought about how you have tackled your challenges. I thought about the strategies you have shared that have worked. I thought about Steph and how she swings running with toddlers. And while I couldn’t remember anything that I have memorized (oh the irony!), I did employ her visualization tricks. I thought about Wendy and how she frees her mind (something must have worked!). I thought about my neighbour, Nick, who told me to “enjoy” the run moments before I started out. I even acknowledged Jen’s mantra that it was “going to hurt” but in a positive, that’s ok kind of way. Andy, I’m afraid I still need the ipod to distract me, but maybe one day I can give it up and I actually thought about that while listening to my tunes tonight. And Kim, I also thought of how every step is an accomplishment and that we should celebrate that. Geez, I was out running at 6pm on a Friday for goodness sakes. Cheers!
Anyway, I shan’t get all mushy on you, but I definitely wanted to take a moment to thank you guys for helping turn my negative mood around and lead me toward a more positive experience. I’m not quite ready to give up, it seems!