Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Running Lessons

I had several options today:
  • Run with the boys at 5:30am (bleh!)
  • Run by myself early AM
  • Run by myself late AM
  • Swim either early or late AM (or right after lunch)
  • Or skip my workout all together
I had loads of errands to run for work, so I started my day with that instead of a workout (of course I did not choose option A: getting up at 5am!)  But during my errands I kept dreading my workout.  Knowing I needed to do something just had me in a bad mood.  I considered opting out of a workout entirely, but I considered how I would feel if I chose that option. 

On any given day, anticipating a run or a workout is typically harder than the actual workout.  Sometimes I do let myself off the hook and take a rest day.  Mentally it is just easier.  But other days I push myself and I get out there and so far my track record would be 10 out of 10 times I feel so much better after!  And then I wonder to myself why I dread working out at all?

This morning as I ran my errands I was sluggish and tired.  It was a beautiful day and one that demanded a better mood from me.  I kept trying to lift my spirits, but I was failing miserably.  Finally, on the way home I determined that I would run immediately up to my room, don my running clothes and get my butt back outside immediately.  I knew I had no option.

Of course the minute I walked in the house, I began to consider taking a rest day again.  I thought of all the other things that were calling for my attention.  Emails, lunch, etc.  Alas, I dragged myself up the stairs, sifted through my work out drawer...for a moment I thought all my sports bras were dirty and I thanked God for an excuse not to run.  But then I found it.  The last clean sports bra.  I put it on.  And the pants.  The top, and the jacket.  I laced up my tennie-runners and stomped back down the stairs. 

I took one final look at the clock- 11:22.  I promised myself this would be over by noon and pushed  open the front door.  The sun shone in at me and I took the first step- the hardest step.  And then the next, and then the next.  All of a sudden I was on the street and turning the corner.  When I got to the stop light I still considered turning back...I had made the effort after all.  There would be no shame in going back home.  I decided to take 10 more steps.  Then I was too far to turn around.

My body hurt.  The new Ashley's Army weight session from earlier this week made my muscles scream.  My hamstrings are tight, my shoulders ache.  I whined in my head for at least a mile. 

At mile two I started going down hill and I allowed myself to enjoy a few minutes of the gorgeous sun, warm air and cool breeze.  My mind began to wander a bit and I set myself on cruise control.  Before I knew it another mile had passed and I was over half way there. 

At that point I began another long incline, my muscles were hurting, but I was so close I could taste success.  I edged up the hill, one step at a time and at 3.5 miles I finally made it back to my driveway.  I felt happy, relieved, energized, excited!

So what did I learn from this run:
  • Dreading a run really is more difficult than actually running
  • Maybe I should always workout first thing in the morning, so I don't spend my day miserably dreading it.
  • Exercising provides much needed energy!
  • My muscles are actually less painful now than they were before.
  • Working out always makes me feel better, never worse
Food for thought:
Breakfast: <1/4 cup oats, <1/4 cooked quinoa, 1/2 cup almond milk, 2 tbsp coconut milk, 1/2 mashed banana, 1 tbsp chia seeds.  Zapped for 2 minutes and topped with a teaspoon peanut butter and a sprinkle of coconut and cereal. 

This was an excellent meal.  So creamy and satisfying.  It also kept me full through my 11:30am run until about 1pm when I had showered and cleaned up and fixed this for lunch:
Lunch: I sauteed 4 sliced mushrooms in Shoyu sauce, then added about 2 cups of kale and covered until it was wilted.  For the last few minutes I stirred in about a cup of cooked quinoa and a sprinkle of sunflower seeds.  I tossed the mix in Ume Plum Vinegar and gave it a sprinkle of nutritional yeast.

Now, I happily full with lunch, my run is behind me...perhaps I can salvage this sunny day with a good attitude and a fun afternoon!  I am coaching Girls on the Run tonight.  The girls are running their practice 5k!  Cheering them on should definitely put me in a good mood!

What helps lift your spirits when you are down?

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