Running is a mental exercise.

Today, for the first time in a while I got out and hit the road running.  I have been running lately, but it’s all been treadmill and that is distinctly different.  I had a reluctance I think because the last time I ran outside was when I did a 5k in December and shortly after it I twerked my knee and couldn’t do much of anything for about a month.  I have been increasing how much I run at the gym in length and frequency so I decided to give it a try today.  It was a process for me to get out there though and while I was running a few things occurred to me:

  • I had to really psych myself up to get out and try it I knew I couldn’t let past experience or feelings of fear stop me.
  • I had to remind myself I have done it before and I can do it again.
  • I had to keep focus on the fact that as I kept going it would feel better and the pain I was feeling was not pain that indicated injury it was pain that means I need to do it more.
  • I had to push myself to get to the point of no return (that point you hit when you can’t turn around because it would take longer to walk home than you have time).
  • Posture is important and a stitch in your side is a painful reminder of that and breathing.
  • I still love running and felt better for having done it.

In my head the whole time I focused on encouraging myself to make it.  I did my best impression of a trainer “keep it up!”,  “make sure you are breathing”, “push yourself”, “enjoy the challenge”, “move it!”, and “give me a little bit more you are almost there!”.  Don’ t get me wrong I LOVE running, it is freeing, challenging, and leaves you feeling good about yourself for being able to do it.  Just some times when you have had a set back it takes effort to push forward.  I found that I was talking to the negotiator the night before saying things to myself like “you can just work out after work”, “what if the weather isn’t nice enough”, “what if it is too hot”, and “you might be too tired”. 

This isn’t the only time it takes effort when making lifestyle changes.  But, I had experience and knew the potential outcome and the positives it gives me to run.  I pulled from some old tricks that helped me with the negotiator in the past.  I packed my bag the night before (eliminating an excuse), shared with my boyfriend that I was going to do it (accountability), and used positive self talk.  By the end of the run I was physically exhausted, but felt mentally stronger for it.  Yes, running is definitely a mental exercise.

So tell me is there a time when you needed to do something similar?  Have you ever had to be your own trainer/encourager/supporter? 


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