Sometimes I still hate to run, but love to have run!
I’ve been running since I was 7 years old. I ran track all through school – 100m sprint was my race. I HATED distance running… in 1998 I ran my very first 5K in Central Park, NY – it was the Susan B. Komen Race for the Cure – and boy you would have thought I ran a marathon! I was so out of breath and so beat up after it that I hobbled around for days. See those days, I HATED to run, but loved to have run! I loved to say that I was a runner…never mind that what I was doing was just about putting one foot in front of the other at a slightly faster clip than walking. In fact, I have a cousin who used to be a Speed Walk racer and I bet she would have beat me, had we ever put that to a test!
So What Changed?
I discovered that I was running too hard. See as a sprinter you give it all that you’ve got right out the gate! You only have a short distance to run and so you run fast and hard! However that’s not sustainable – and sure you can train to be a fast distance runner (I wasn’t born with those Kenyan genes) – but for the average Jane wanting to run – sprinting long distances isn’t realistic. So I slipped into a more conversational pace and lo and behold, I developed a true love for running.
I call it my moving meditation – it’s the only time that I can guarantee I will slip into true mindlessness. I truly become one with the road under my feet, the sound of my own breath mingled with the tweets (birds, not 140 character posts) of the birds and the occasional car passing by provides me with the white noise I need to totally ‘zone out.’ I have some of my greatest a-has and longest periods of quiet mind during my runs.
So why suddenly am I talking about running? Well – intuitively you would think that running outside your comfort zone would bring you the greatest reward – and if you were training for the Olympics you would be absolutely correct! However, for those of us who want to run for the pure enjoyment or exercise value – the way to run is to be able to hold a conversation with yourself. Even at that pace, if you do it consistently enough – you WILL get faster. I have run at an average 10 minute mile for over a year, and suddenly, without warning – I have started to run 9 or even sub 9 minute miles. I am still amazed when my RunKeeper program announces an 8min 25 second mile! WOW! ME??? no way!! Yup! ME!!!
So apply this to anything in your life – do it consistently for long enough, sometimes even without thought of reward and the reward will come anyway!