Wednesday, April 12, 2017


Let me start with the stats from my 2017 miles in the year 2017 challenge and more specifically the month of April.  I need 166 miles in April to not fall further behind....but my goal is to make up at least 25 miles making it a total of 191 miles needed for April.  Monday marked  1/3 mark of the month completed.   I am happy to say that at end of day Monday I was at 101.73 miles. (Thank you biking!). That makes me more than halfway to the goal for the month!

On Monday and Tuesday we rode on the canal in the afternoon. 
I love riding through the fields of bluebells!!!  We also have spent quite a bit of time traipsing around looking for mushrooms.  

This morning I got up and ran 3 miles.  (More on that later) and mowed the grass.  And I made it to work by 9:45 AM!

So in a post from last week, I wrote about the difficult run that I had on that day.  I received a comment from Shelley who blogs at MyJourneytofit   Shelley to me is the voice of  reason.  I've been reading her blog for long enough to watch her go through various stages of health, fitness and running....including some self analyzation as she figured out that long distance running doesn't make her happy...but the shorter distances do!   So yes....she knows and would totally recognize the chords of dissonance within me! 

In her comment she basically asked me if I REALLY wanted to run or if I just wanted to want to run.  WOW!!!  Good question Shelley!!!!

Thus began a crazy journey of thoughts and introspection as I really tried to find an answer to her question. Not so much for her, but for me!  

In her comment she had mentioned that I seem to love biking and hiking more, or at least seemed happier during those activities. So I chose that as my starting point.  I AM quite happy when I hike and bike.  I had no problem agreeing to that fact! But why???  I had definitely encountered hikes where I was in pain and hurting bad.  On February 6th  of this year we hiked Mary's Rock and I was NOT liking hiking.  Yet I was mysteriously happy!  The same thing goes for hiking.  On Saturday April 1rst I had a ride that was rough but on the 2nd I had a great bike ride!!!
Once again even on the 'bad day' I was happy. Go figure?  Was it the scenery of where we were at?
Ok yeah, it was pretty but that wasn't it!   Then I realized that I was happy and pushed through the bad run because of who I was with.  From there it wasn't long until I realized that when I am with Jason I also tend to trivialize my aches and pains because 'I'm tough' and still have a lot of fun!  Seriously, the first hike with him back in 2015 I was huffing and puffing like a steam train but tried to hide it....and then if course there was the recent bike ride where I flipped over the handlebars on the side of a mountain path....I was sore and my wrist hurt but I blithely rode on and had a fabulous time!!!

So I learned
1.  Having company on these excursions makes a difference!
2.  I push myself harder when with Jason and this have better results which means I have a larger sense of pride at my accomplishments.
3.  I simply am happy when I'm with him!!!
4.  Bad hikes/rides are counter balanced with good rides and hikes.

Hmmmmm that is interesting....but let's think about running now.

My first question to myself was 'why am I pushing myself to run?'  Is it because I want to call myself a runner or are there other reasons.

I had to dig deep for this and I went back to the beginning.  When I first started running I did it simply because it seemed  the thing to do.  I frequently commented that you don't often see fat I wanted to run because 'it's gotta be good'.  But that idea quickly disappears and went away. I continued running because I wanted to conquer that C25K. I wanted to be victorious.

But along the way I found out a few things about myself and running.

1.  I found utter exhilaration from a fabulous run!
2. I discovered a body that responded, became strong and did amazing things. I was proud of what my body could do!
3. I found utter clarity in my thoughts while I run.
4.  Running brought me energy and happiness.  There is nothing better than that energetic feeling of being alive when I finish a run.  (Ok there may be a few other better a kiss from Jason....but you know what I mean!)
5.  Is it wrong to say that I found that I like the feeling of the hot sweat on my body telling me that I did something good for myself?

Yes, I guess I actually do like running....or at least the feelings and by-products of running.

So what is the problem?  Why is running right now giving me NONE of these pleasures?

Well obviously the current weather keeps me from getting all hot and sweaty...but that's coming soon.  But what else....for that I went back to the reasons that hiking and biking are pleasurable.   And one thing was glaring....

I haven't had a fabulous run in months....oh you know the runs I'm talking about....(or any workout for that matter)...these are the ones where your body feels like it could go on forever, everything feels good and rights. The angels are singing because it's so perfect!  Yeah....I can faintly remember the far far distant past. How long? Probably as far back as late summer 2015.   Shortly after that might run I got sick two days later!  And then began a slow recovery.   I was finally on my feet and vacations were over and starting to run and I sprained my ankle    And it just continued.  Lack of running and inconsistent running and the bad runs just piled on top of the other!!!   Oh and then my weight crept upwards and that just compounded the bad runs!!!  All bad runs with no fabulous ones to counter-act the bad.  Well no wonder!!

So I guess what it boils down to right now is that yes, I only want to run and I don't currently love running.  But that is only because I am not reaping the benefits.  But I keep trying because I crave the benefits.

So to reap the benefits that I crave I must run and push myself through these bad runs.  In doing this I will rebuild my body and bring about the heavenly runs!!!  And that means consistently running!

Ironically enough I took a stack of magazines to work one day this week to catch up on my reading.  The May 2017 issue of Runners World was one of them.  As I flipped through the magazine I saw a section entitled 'Refresh your Running Life'. They had a mutitude of suggestions.  Some were...
- switch from the roads to trails
-focus on distance instead of speed (or vice versus)
-add extra reps
- go from sporadic to consistent. 

On page 22 it said "If your not running for at least 30 minutes every other day your body will struggle to adapt to the stresses on your musculoskeletal and cardiovascular systems.  Consistency helps pass the point  at which every run feels hard."

Ok then, I had already decided that I needed consistency in order to fix this problem and then I just happened to open this magazine and read this article?  Maybe this is a sign from heaven!!!!

So my run this morning.....I decided to go outside with no expectations at all.   Or rather I decided to go out with very low expectations.  I also got my headphones to sync/pair so I ran without wires!  Woohooo!!!    So the run?  I was expecting horror.  It wasn't bad!!!!   The run was not  fabulous but it was definitely much better than recent runs.    


Sarah said...

Loved this post. Maybe it's because I'm a constant self analyser LOL. Hopefully this will help you enjoy your runs more.

jesseybell said...

I am feeling the same feelings - why can't I get back to where I was in terms of my running. I used to look forward to my long run all week long. Now, it seems like such a chore. Part of it is because of the weight-gain running is harder. But a lot of it is because for the last year I haven't been able to leave my To Do list at home when I go out for a run. I NEED to get back to where I was because I really did love to run.

Shelley said...

Wow, you really went deep with this and I'm happy that you've not only discovered why you like hiking and biking so much more, but also why you want to run. I wish you had a running buddy or group - I bet you'd ratch up your enjoyment even more.

Lynn said...

I almost exclusively run on trails now or dirt roads. It's easier on the joints and just more interesting. Now when I have to run on roads I feel bored, tired, and annoyed.

Cathy said...

As soon as you started talking about why running is difficult right now I thought about how difficult it has been for me to run lately. I have had the same difficulties with injuries and bad runs. The last time I really, truly enjoyed running was in 2015 while training for my marathon. The new distances were exciting and the feeling of accomplishment was exhilarating and I haven't had that since. Sadly, there are no new distances for me, I don't plan to run more than 26.2 miles, but maybe if this weather will cooperate I'll get to enjoy it a little more. I love running, I just need to remind myself of that. :-)