• Pursuit of Happiness {Running}

    June 21, 2013

    I had an awesome run this morning! Hooray! Doesn’t a good run just make your whole day?

    a great run

    On my run this morning, I rocked out to “Pursuit of Happiness” by Kid Cudi, which inspired this post. I’m really digging this song lately.

    Since the ZOOMA 10K, I’ve really been trying to get back into running. So, for the past three weeks, I’ve slowly increased my mileage, and, today, I added a tempo run. Whoa, look at me! Haha! But, seriously, running is finally starting to get “easier.” Ok, well, it’s never easy, but I don’t feel like death anymore when I’m running.

    Usually, when I take a break from running, it only takes me 2-3 runs to get back into the swing of things, but, of course, this time (I took a solid 6 months off from running), it’s taking a lot longer. I promised myself I would enjoy the experience as much as possible and not get frustrated, and, honestly, changing my thinking has made all the difference. Instead of seeing running as something I need to check off my list for the day as part of a training plan, I look forward to heading out with my music and simply enjoying the act of running. It’s crazy how much things have changed for me in the past few weeks.

    With that said, here are a few things that have helped me change my thinking about running and helped me enjoy it even more!

    Appreciating that it isn’t easy.

    If running was easy, everyone would do it. When I’m running and it’s tough, I’ve just come to accept it. Realizing that running takes effort and hard work has definitely helped me come to terms with appreciating the sport and embracing my inner runner. I just keep trucking along and have faith that I’m getting stronger and becoming a better runner.

    Focusing on what I love about it.

    I’ve spent a lot of time reacquainting myself with running and what it’s all about—feeling my body move, listening to my breathing, being outdoors, letting my mind wander, and, of course, enjoying the post-run endorphins. Instead of focusing on my time, splits, distance, and all that jazz, I’m simply enjoying the act of running.

    Keeping my eye on the prize.

    I have my eye on two races this summer, so when I’m out running, I think about these goals. Having them in mind keeps me motivated, and, of course, I’d much rather work hard now during my “training” than run a poor race when the time comes. I don’t want what happened at ZOOMA to ever happen again!

    Doing workouts that I enjoy.

    I know some runners plan specific types of workouts into their training in order to achieve certain goals, but I’m not there quite yet with my running. I’m just trying to enjoy it as much as possible, so instead of putting pressure on myself with intervals, fartleks, tempo runs, etc., I’m just heading out and running with no set plans. If I’m feeling good—like I did today—I’ll pick up the pace. If my body is feeling kind of sluggish, I’ll keep my pace easy. I want to make sure I’m looking forward to all of my runs, so I pick workouts that I enjoy, which, of course, helps me get out there and run on a regular basis.

    Changing my expectations.

    As I mentioned in my previous post about the mistakes I’ve made with running, I used to focus a lot of my attention on my times. In the past few weeks, however, I’ve left my Timex GPS Watch at home a number of times, which has helped me take that time pressure off myself. My new running expectations are things like: run 4 miles or listen to David Guetta for 30 minutes, which has made running a lot more enjoyable for me.

    Questions of the Day

    What’s your #1 favorite thing about running?

    Have you ever changed your thinking about running (or fitness, in general)?

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    { 65 comments… read them below or add one }

    Rachael C June 22, 2013 at 11:00 am

    Every run is a fight and because of that, every run feels like a victory.

    Reply

    Mary June 22, 2013 at 5:21 pm

    My absolute #1 favourite thing about running is that it doesn’t matter if you never win a race, – you can always improve and set your own targets. Whether speed, or distance or style!

    Reply

    Tina June 22, 2013 at 5:30 pm

    So true!

    Reply

    Katie @ Talk Less, Say More June 22, 2013 at 5:55 pm

    “changing my thinking has made all the difference” <- that's true in MANY things in life! But so happy to hear running is getting better for you! :)

    Reply

    Delaney June 22, 2013 at 7:22 pm

    This is an excellent post, Tina! Running should be enjoyed, not dreaded. Thank you, love reading your blog :)

    Reply

    Jody - Fit at 55 June 23, 2013 at 1:12 pm

    Love this post!!! I really push myself in the gym during the week so my outside Sunday run – I don’t slack – but it is more about enjoying the ride than pushing myself.. so much better for me! :)

    Reply

    Peach June 24, 2013 at 9:16 am

    Great post, Tina. Running truly is so personal and your mindset makes all the difference. I’m in the place where I’m amazed that I actually *miss* my runs when I don’t do them… I used to be the “I’m not a runner and never will be” girl!

    I love tuning out with awesome, rocking music (thanks for the Kid Cudi tip!) and just getting out there in my own head, on my own time. Forgetting all the stress and loving the endorphins is the best!! So happy for your progress!

    Reply

    Shannon June 24, 2013 at 10:19 am

    It’s hard to choose one thing about running as a favorite but I think the best thing about it for me is the stress release. I’ll even get in a mood and just know, I know, I need to run!

    Being so strict about time takes the fun out of it for me too, I’m slower and I get very discouraged when I’m not a certain speed, I know I need to push myself out of my comfort zone in order to get faster but that takes a lot of the fun out of it for me too – so I glance at my garmin once in a while to see how i’m doing but I mostly like to just see how many calories I’ve burned by the end, and my pace is usually what it would be if I was watching it like crazy anyway.

    Reply

    Rebecca@RunningFoodBaby June 24, 2013 at 11:39 am

    For me, going to long-distance running was a complete switch to what kind of runner I used to be. I was a sprinter/hurdler in high school and always stated (rather loudly) that I couldn’t run more than 800m at a time. 8 years later, I was bored and unemployed and needed something to do – so I took up running. True to form, I could barely run 800m at first without stopping. But eventually I became faster and built stamina. Now, I can run fairly fast for 800m and then keep going!

    Reply

    Debbie June 25, 2013 at 3:19 pm

    I like your segment on doing workouts that are enjoyable. I’m finally getting back into running after almost three years so as you can imagine it’s taking a whole LOT to get back into a groove. When I first started running, I would follow a plan to a point. I would do the miles stated but not the specific workouts (hills, speed, tempo). If there was a hill on my route, I’d climb it. If I wanted to go fast, I did. If I was feeling meh :( I’d take it easy. It worked just fine and helped me run a half marathon in September 2009.

    Now I’m running with a group that has hill and speed and tempo work each week and I’ve experienced pain in my back following this plan. I thought back to my early days of “do whatcha like” running and realized that really worked for me. So today instead of doing 45 minutes of hills, I’m going to just run and see where my legs take me. I will climb and descend, run fast or slow, and I will just go and be the best runner I can because I want to just run.

    Reply

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