To Run, or Not to Run

I wrote this on the Good Friday before Easter and wanted to share!

I really don’t want to run today..

That was all I could think about on my way home from work.  Even though it was gorgeous out, sunny and a mild 57 degrees, I just wasn’t in the exercise mood.  I must admit it was quite the surprise on a Friday afternoon when I was told to go home early and start Easter weekend a little sooner than expected.

I was excited to run the 9 miles that were on our half marathon training plan, but unfortunately Tim had to work late so that meant my run would be solo.  I used to run by myself all the time, but ever since we started running together on a regular basis, runs alone just don’t sound as appealing.  There was conflict in my head the whole drive home:  To run, or not to run?

By the time I walked through my front door, these negative thoughts had slowly clouded the excited feelings I had felt earlier in the day.  I could feel myself trying to win the battle as I started to bargain with myself.

  • If I run tonight, then I won’t have to worry about it Saturday morning.
  • After my run I can take a long hot bath and cuddle up on the couch after a busy week of work.
  • I don’t have to run the whole 9 miles and I can stop if I truly am not feeling the run.
  • I can listen to music and zone out during the run, relishing in the alone time with myself.
  • I can take Tebow with me for part of the way.
  • And on, and on, and on.

By the time I had thrown all these scenarios around, I had convinced myself that the run may not be quite as bad as I was expecting.  I went upstairs, changed into my work out clothes and tied up my sneakers.  I strapped on my Garmin, grabbed my iPhone and headphones, then leashed up Tebow.  Before I knew it I was out the door, feeling the wind blow against my skin and could sense the warm sun shining down on my face.

The plan was a slow 2 miles with Tebow around the block.  Slow meaning about a 10 minute mile jog with the pup as not to push him too hard, (I know I can’t ‘run’ with him until he is a bit older).  After the 2 miles, I would ask my body how it is feeling and either call it a day, or keep going.

Tebow is a hilarious running partner, while staring up at me with those huge brown eyes, I swore I could see a smile.  He is getting so good at the ‘heel’ command and he thinks he’s pretty hot stuff when we get moving faster.  Well as I finished up the 2 miles in about 20 minutes, I could tell my legs were warmed up at this point and I wanted to try and go a little further.  I made a pit stop at my house and dropped Tebow off.  I gave him a big bowl of water and slowly directed him into his cage.  I told him to be a good boy and I would be back soon.  From there I grabbed my own water, in bottle form that is, and headed right back out the door.

I wasn’t sure how far I wanted to go, so I decided to play it by ear.  I tried to take deep breaths and appreciate every step.  I even caught myself looking up to the sky more than once and thanking God for such a beautiful day, for my own health, and for the opportunity to be on a run.  Before I knew it, my Garmin said 3 miles, then 4 miles, and I could feel my legs starting to get a little tight.  I was feeling a little tired from work, and also from the battle I waged in my head earlier, and was ready for the run to be finished.  When I had circled back to about a half mile away from my house, I turned around and headed home.

As I walked into my house, I could feel my mind beginning to think again, so I told it to quiet down.  Sure, I didn’t complete the 9 mile run that was on my schedule, but I did run 5 miles.  That distance was nothing to be ashamed of!  Just a little over a month ago I wasn’t even running 5 miles on a ‘long distance’ day, and here I was running 5 miles as a reduced mileage run.  Pretty impressive right?  This moment reminded me to try and stay more flexible in life.  Things change, but it’s how we react to situations that matter.  This is definitely something I work on every day since I love being in control.  I can promise you though that I would have felt a lot guiltier had I not ran at all.  This is not because I wouldn’t have gotten my work out in, but it is because I would have doubted my ability to run on my own to the point that I would have quit.  This was not an option I wanted to choose on any Friday, especially not Good Friday.

After the run, I was able to take my warm bath, feed Tebow, and make dinner.  By the time I was finishing up, Tim was home from work and ready to sit down with me for a good meal.  An evening that started with doubts and discouragement, ended with a sense of accomplishment and pride.  What a way to start the weekend!

 

Questions:

How do you convince yourself to get your work out in, even when you aren’t wanting to go for a run/go to the gym, etc?

Do you enjoy working out by yourself, or do you prefer to have a partner?

Do you ever ‘bargain’ with yourself to get through a work out?

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15 thoughts on “To Run, or Not to Run

  1. I have a 11 mile run I plan to do after work today since it’ll be my only chance before next week, and I’ll be honest…. I’m sorta dreading it. Tryingggg to motivate myself, but that internal battle is already happening!! Ugh!!

  2. I always remind myself of how good I feel afterwards! Even if I’m totally miserable getting started, I will be so happy to have completed a work out when all is said & done.

    I actually prefer running by myself. My husband & I have gone together a few times, but he’s about a foot taller than me & can obviously run much faster. I feel more pressure when I run with him… if I don’t go as fast as possible, he’s pretty much walking alongside of me & that’s not fun for either of us!

  3. That first step out the door is always the hardest! Sometimes we just have to listen to our bodies and cut a run short – and that’s okay! 5 miles is nothing to be laugh at, girl – it’s tough!

  4. I’m so glad you recognized that you should be proud of those 5 miles even though it was as far as you had hoped! It can be so easy to beat ourselves up when we don’t go as far or as hard as we plan, but it’s so important to remember that doing anything is awesome in itself :). I always tell myself to try it out, and if it doesn’t feel good then I don’t have to keep pushing myself!

  5. On most days, I like to work out alone (I push myself and I’m more focused). But at least once a week I try to get others moving and it’s so fun to workout/run with other people!
    I love how you were thanking God for being fortunate enough to go out for a run! It’s really true that our health and fitness are blessings and we should really appreciate them.

  6. Once I get my clothes on, everything else is so much easier! I try to give it a few miles, and if it still doesn’t feel right, I call it quits. But most of the time, I get back in the groove. Planning my workouts at the beginning of the week has helped a lot – I get pumped for them!
    And I pretty much have to workout alone. If I run with others, I tell them up front that I won’t be talking much :-) Everyone always says to workout with a partner to hold yourself accountable, but I just like to do it on my own time :-)

  7. Brandon and I had trained for 3 different races together this past year. But then he decided to stop running, and I had to train for this last race (which is on the 28th) by myself. I thought I would hate it, and on some days I definitely missed him, but I enjoyed it more than I anticipated. I liked having that alone time, to think, to pray, and just to enjoy the quiet solitude! :)

  8. You are right Jana. What you are able to accomplish on a day of doubts always feels terrific. Put each day in perspective. Setting up the stretch goal and pushing yourself to be the best you can everyday, but to recognize that you can slow down, enjoy God’s world and be content with yourself.

  9. Thanks for sharing Jana! Being flexible with your routine is just sooo important– how are you supposed to always predict what your body wants to do by a schedule!?

    Glad you made the most of your run anyway :)

  10. I bargain with myself, but not in QUITE the same way. I bargain about calories burned and tell myself “If you hit 700+ calories a day, that’s a pound GONE.” Whatever it takes to find your motivation, right?

    I have a running partner too, he’s a 6-month old Am Staff named Buck. At the 3 mile mark, he’s usually DONE!

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