Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Running to the next tree...

I would like to be a runner, I don't think that I am there yet. My journey so far has reenforced many things for me and taught me some things about myself. I have learned about how to motivate myself, how to set small iterative goals to get to a larger goal (how do you eat an elephant? one bite at a time.), and that one goal (running) can support another goal (losing weight/becoming fit)/.

When I first started running, I was lucky to be able to do 1/4 of a lap at the track. I would find myself winded and, for lack of a better term, would quit. I would do this successively over the course of my 3 - 4 mile walk, with run. With time, I started to run 1/2 a lap, and then 3/4 of a lap.

As I increased my distance, I started to recognize that it wasn't my body that was stopping me from going further, it was my mind. It wasn't until I ran a full lap, and kept going, that I realized that I really could go much further, if only I pushed myself. Sure, I was winded and wanted to stop after that first full lap, but I also was so proud of myself for running a full lap, that I wanted to see how far I could push myself.

I started to notice that when I set a goal - whether at the track or around the neighborhood, I tended to stop when I reached it, even if I still could have gone further. So, I changed up my approach and started reaching new levels.

I started stating my goals as "at least finish this lap and then see if I can get around the bend." As I approached the bend, I would adjust my goal to "at least around the bend and then see if I can get to the next bend." When I am running in the neighborhood, I use houses, corners, and trees to guide my goals.

Using this approach, I have been able to run as far as 1 mile without breaking to walk and running near mile intervals multiple times over the course of a 3-4 mile journey. And, when on mornings like today, it has been a while since I ran, I use this approach to keep me going. I didn't run a full mile straight, but I kept pushing myself to run further.

Of course, when I take a break and walk, I also set goals - "I can walk to the next tree, but then I need to run". It helps me keep me on track. Eventually, I would like to get to the point where I can run a full 5k and join all of my friends that do the local 5k. I am still a ways from there, but if I continue running to the next tree, I will eventually get there.

Running to the next tree, works for me!

1 comments:

All Natural Katie said...

Running is difficult for me, but it's the only form of exercise that works really quick at losing a few pounds. I have found over the years that running is so much more mental than physical. Keep thinking positive thoughts, or no thoughts at all. Sometimes I listen to music and other times, it doesn't work. In the end, I try to enjoy the blood moving through my body as I'm running. It's very therapeutic. Good luck!