It was a busy weekend full of chores, and shopping, and paper mache school projects and Susan B Anthony presentation prep……and running. Yes running. 6.5 miles of running on Sunday….18 miles for the week. This week, distance didn’t matter. Pace didn’t matter. Speed, time — nope…didn’t matter. This week, the only thing that mattered was mental. Did I enjoy it. Enjoyment. Yeah…..That’s what mattered. That’s really all that ever really mattered all along.
Because the truth is…..somewhere, somehow, I had reached a point where I couldn’t run anymore, UNLESS I could find my enjoyment again. I really hadn’t considered how much enjoyment could/would matter. At a point a few weeks ago, slowly, unknowingly, my running routine had slipped into something that I was making/forcing/pushing myself to do. The irony is — the more I pushed and forced….the less capable I became. Huh….W.E.I.R.D. But also very predictable. I should have known, and planned for it. But….we learn as we go. No worries.
Improving my mental health became the focus….and so this is the phase of my running for the final last weeks leading up to the Rutgers Unite Half on April 22nd. I’m using spring, and my love of all the things that spring brings to help bring me mental joy. Daffodils, dogwood trees in bloom, the smell of mulch. LOL, yea, don’t believe me? — ask any gardener! It’s as addicting as the smell of chocolate chip cookies to us! Triggers all the ‘happy happy joy joy” centers in the brain. So, I’m working on my mental Come Back — monitoring my “Joy” state as I walk out the door for a run. When I feel it slipping, I work on it. With new music, positive affirmations, even just a new lipstick. Anything it takes……well, except food. No using food to cheer myself up! That’s an old, faulty strategy that only worked in the short-term anyway. Like 5 minutes, “until the guilt started to creep in”, kinda short-term! Bad, Bad, No More!
So, this is the beginning of my Countdown. Just 5 short weeks until the moment of truth! I’ve asked my husband Peter to work with me on this “mental health project”. I’ve asked him to NOT use the words “getting nervous”, or any facsimile of those words. I just don’t want to GO THERE. I want to move through these next 5 weeks, with a growing sense of excitement, exhilaration even…….not dread.
Let’s go to the dictionary one mo’ time!
Exhilaration: the feeling of lively and cheerful joy
Killer! Yes, that’s it! That’s how I want to feel as I head into this Half M experience — lively and cheerful joy. That’s the only thing that really matters as I head off the starting line. For 13.1 miles, I’m going to enjoy the spring, being outside, and with each mile — remind myself of how much I have changed over these 18 weeks. Heck, I want to remember how hard it was that Very First Week of C25K! How I thought I would DIE from lack of breath just because I was walking/jogging in 1 min/30 sec increments. Wow. Did that really happen? Uh, Hell Yea Diane. That WAS you girl! It feels like a gajillion years ago. But it was only less than 2 years ago. And these are the moments that will fill my head as I run the Half on April 22nd. It won’t matter how many people pass me. I’ll wave to the gazelles as they run by. Because I will be running, and jogging, (and maybe walking a little), along my own 13.1 mile journey —- breathing in my new active life, leaving my old one sedentary one behind…….full of lively and cheerful Joy!
5 weeks! Can’t wait!
Ciao for now…..Diane