Finding Ways to Enjoy Running
Hi All! I’m Kate & you can usually find me over at Mommy Monologues. I’d like to give a big thank you to Angie for letting me write over here today! I love her blog, she’s so inspirational, & her menus pretty much rock! So I’m super excited!
I started sports at the age of 11 which eventually led me to collegiate sports (basketball & cross country) but I never really liked my weight, but I didn’t hate myself either. I just knew that I could be healthier. My dad was diagnosed with diabetes, I transferred to a new university, quit sports, & because of all these events happening around the same time it made me want to discover a healthier frame of mind. With that healthier frame of mind & fear of being diabetic, I lost 25 lbs via an overhaul in my eating habits & exercise routine (aka my lack of exercise routine.)
A few years passed, I got married, gained a little bit of weight back, was unhappy about it, found out I was pregnant, and that obviously changed everything. Since I’ve had the baby (who is now 12 months) I have been an on & off again runner. I seriously have a love/hate relationship with running! I have mostly relied on healthy eating & breastfeeding (burns 500 calories a day woot woot!) to keep me at my “dream” size. And now that breastfeeding is no longer happening I’m having to get back into a work out routine. And y’all that is hard & no fun!
Last night while I was running I got so frustrated. In my mind, I consider myself the ultimate athlete. My body, make that lungs, however would totally disagree with you. I know I’m out of shape and I know my body isn’t in its prime condition.
So, there I was pounding the pavement and after 15 minutes I just stopped. Sat down like a big toddler & wouldn’t budge. I was throwing a serious temper tantrum. And then I started talking to myself, “If you aren’t going to be positive about this then there is no point in doing it. If aren’t going to be nice to yourself while you run then you should just stop now.”
And that’s when I came up with this list of how to make my daily jogs more enjoyable: (editor’s note: I ran tonight, kept this list in mind, left my watch at home, & had a lot more fun! I had a great workout, ran for 40 minutes, definitely used pointer #2!, and am glad I went–Todd had to make me go.)
1. Have a set route in mind. Last night I went out to run with no clear map in my head of where to go. So all my mental energy went to focusing on trying to figure out what direction I wanted to run instead of focusing on the actual run itself. Running is just as much mental as it is physical! And it’s usually your mental state that will beat you every time!
2. Play games with yourself. Tell yourself that your going to run to the next light pole 50 yards (or even 10 yards) ahead. And when you get to that point you will slow down or take a break. And then start the game again. Or sometimes I have motivational sayings that match up with the beat of when my feet hit the ground. It sounds weird, but seriously I have made it through 13 miles of running saying the same phrase over & over & over in my head.
3. Don’t always focus on your watch. When I look to see how long I’ve been running & I realize that it’s been 3 minutes & it feels like 30, that’s when I flip my watch to where I can’t see it anymore. This always helps me focus on my strides instead of focusing on being miserable.
4. Don’t start out overly ambitious. Like I said, I’m getting back into running after an extended amount of time off (that’s nice for saying a year away from running.) So whenever I’m trying to get back into the swing of things I start out very, very moderately. For example, if I’m in bad, bad shape I’ll start out running 1 minute, walking 2. And I will rotate that cycle for 30 minutes. This way I can build up to running a full 30-45 minutes over a period of time. Check out Five Weeks to Your First 5k— even if you aren’t wanting to run in races, this will help you to become a runner!
5. Don’t push yourself. If you’re at a breaking point for the day, take it easy. Do whatever you need to in order to get some sort of work out in for the day. But don’t push your body or your mind because you won’t look forward to your workout the next day if you’ve pushed too hard. Sometimes you need to be easy on yourself.
Today for example, I mentally could not handle an actual run. So I walked & I felt great afterwards! Tomorrow, I’ll try to run because I didn’t push myself so hard today. I’m actually looking forward to making myself go harder (and yes, I have my route already picked out! 🙂 Exercising is supposed to be fun, it is definitely hard, but it can be a blast at the same time!
So get out there, pound the pavement, & enjoy yourself!
And Good Luck!