Who Are You Racing Against?

This isn't who I was racing
This isn’t who I was racing

My plan to stay motivated is working so far. I got up and did my week 11 day 2 run at 6:30 this morning.

Right from the start, this was a very different beast from Sunday’s run. There was more wind for one thing, and I got slowed down in multiple places trying to cross busy streets. As awesome as it is to run by the water, I think the lakefront trail is just not my running space. When I finally get back on a bike, though…

Anyway, I could feel almost as soon as I started running that this wasn’t going to be quite the triumph my previous run was. I felt more fatigue in my hips and legs, probably from all those weeks of slacking off, and I just felt slow. Almost ungainly.

Fortunately for me, I run in a mindful state. As quickly as these thoughts comparing today’s run to Sunday’s came up, they just washed over me and kept going. I had a lovely moment of clarity somewhere around mile 4 or 5.

I was not racing against the Maggie who ran on Sunday. Nope. I was racing against the Maggie who wanted to stay home and drink tea in my pajamas. And would you look at that? I had already won.

That thought gave me the motivation I needed to truly let go of any negative feelings towards myself and my performance. I was able to fully enjoy the sensation of being in my body, and luxuriate in the hour I had set aside to do nothing but run right at the start of my day.

Suddenly, I was full of joy. Even that next red light traffic jam couldn’t get me down.


Todays lesson:

Taking the time to drink half my protein shake and write in my journal before heading out to run makes a huge difference in my performance. The food is obvious: it gives me some fuel instead of running on empty. The journaling is great too: writing out all the things (external and internal) I am grateful for puts me in a positive and capable state of mind.

Bonus lesson:

Choosing routes that go along a lot of busy streets is fine at 6:30 am on a Sunday. On a weekday… let’s just say I did more jogging in place than I would ever want to again.

Today’s stats:

  • Total distance: 5.9 miles
  • Avg pace: 8:41/mile


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