Running= 1/2 Perspiration + 1/2 Inspiration
Last Friday, I made a running/souping date with my good friend Kimberly. We were to get together for a relaxing day of running outside in the cold and then we would recover in the warmth while tasting our amazing (and they were truly yummy) homemade soups.
However, my ulterior motive was to try to knock out a 6-miler, which I had planned to do for the weekend. Although Kimberly told me that she wasn’t sure if this would be a great idea, I had it in my mind that it would. In my mind, nothing beats running with a buddy vs. running solo.
We went to my normal running trail on Friday after Kimberly arrived and we were greeted by the freezing cold winds. We started out and for the first mile or so, we were warming up and doing well. However, you could tell that we just weren’t totally feeling it. (I think out of the courtesy we didn’t say anything to one another). At about mile 1.5 or so, we stopped and stretched. We both made causal comments about the cold, our concerns for potential injuries and the time, as we still wanted to try to pull off making four soups.
We quickly decided to not kid ourselves anymore and we ended up just running out to the two mile marker and back, making our 6-miler into a 4-miler. For a minute, we both did what most runners do when their goals don’t match their realities. We became our own worst critics and then, we made excuses.
However, what we quickly realized in this all is that we just weren’t feeling it. Our bodies and our minds were saying ‘not today’ and we had decided to listen to them. We finished the run strong and although we didn’t do that 6-miler, I was proud of us for being able to do what we did.
Too often, runners beat themselves up. They push themselves when their inner motivation just isn’t there. Although there are some tricks of the trade to get your mind into the game, you must listen to what your body and your mind is saying. On certain days, even the most committed runners just would rather be doing something else. By recognizing this and stepping away, you are cutting your losses for potential injury and you are preserving your inner strength for the next run.
And there will always be a next run. Yesterday, I cranked out the 6-miler plus at the gym. I felt great, my pace was good and I was able to finish strong. I think the reason why I was able to appreciate days like yesterday is that I had a day like Friday. So remember, when you say ‘not today’, it is really ‘a okay’. Just go home and make yourself some soup!