This weekend, I heard someone say, “It was easier for me to stay the course, to keep going, then to stop what I was doing and then try to start over again.” When I heard this, I didn’t immediately apply it to any one thing, and I dismissed it as part of someone else’s conversation. I went about my monumental “list” of things to do this weekend which consisted of cleaning, hanging shelves, laundry, buying picture frames, and getting my very first label maker (which I love love love). I had been looking forward to exercising and finally, on Sunday, I geared up to go for my long run down the Sammamish trail. Fifteen minutes ago, I’d finished my second cup of coffee and drank a big glass of water just before I left and as I started jogging down the street, my stomach felt a little “full”.
I was going to turn back around, and call it a day. The negative junk I’ve been saying the last week or so started to raise it’s voice, and I almost listened. I told myself I’d run at my own pace and that when I got to the end of the block, I’d turn around and head home if needed. Something strange happened, and at the end of the block, I felt great. Everything felt great, my muscles didn’t feel strained, my lungs didn’t feel overwhelmed and my inside voice was surprisingly positive.
That morning, I ate something before running (usually I don’t because I was afraid of stomach issues) and had some good old fashioned caffeine. I also kept my own pace, and found the whole experience enjoyable again instead of frustrating and causing me grief. It’s amazing how simple the change was to make (proper breakfast and pace). The first mile is always a warm up, and I stopped to stretch my legs. Soon, I was on my way again and zoned out to the sound of my feet against the pavement.
“Stop thinking so much about form and just do it,” I heard my inside voice say, which is what my friend Brad tells me. I kept jogging, enjoying the sport of running rather than the place of my instep, the length of my stride, the quickness of my pace. I was almost to Woodinville and I’d just passed the 60 acre park where I usually stop, a little bit out of breath from pushing myself, I heard the voice say, “Why don’t you stop now?”
Why should I stop? My body felt good in terms of both breathing and muscles and I didn’t want to stop, so I didn’t. They’ve told us about this in Yoga, that once the mind is determined to stop doing something, and you let it, that everytime you get to that “place”, you’ll want to stop again. Thoreau wrote about this, when a new trail is formed and he keeps taking the old one. “Every path but your own is the path of Fate. Keep on your own track then.” (Henry David Thoreau Walden).
Five miles came and I slapped the top of the mile marker, and I kept going. It was easier for me to keep going then it was for me to stop. When I passed the sixth mile, it was a bit more difficult and I told myself, the human body is capable of much more than our mind thinks it is, and with that I was able to slap the top of the six mile marker and go about a 1/4 mile beyond it.
I stopped jogging and slowed to a brisk walk. I just finished jogging seven miles, and walked the rest of the way home. I had tried to start jogging again, but my muscles tensed up terribly. I stretched them out and walked the last two miles home doing some lunges. Total time: 2 hours. I was really happy then, because I kept thinking that my timing was really off, and that if I did this marathon, it would take me seven or eight hours. It was then that I realized I was at the halfway point of my goal. I need to add mileage and cut time, and I’m going to do it at my own pace so I don’t miss out on the fun I had running on Sunday.