I’ve been doing my long runs on Sunday mornings. In prior training cycles, I preferred long runs on Saturday mornings but my current work/life balance has me craving Saturday as a sleep-in, slow start to the weekend.
This Saturday was different, though; I got up early to attend a Women in Business Leadership conference that completely ruled and totally inspired me – so glad I went! After walking the mile home in the gorgeous 70* weather, Alex and I took Philly for a long walk before heading out to a CMU party at the coolest ever co-working space (check out TechShop; it’s a maker/creator’s dream!). The event was sponsored by the business school’s wine club so, hello, I enjoyed a couple delicious glasses of sangiovese.
All this to say that when Sunday morning rolled around, I wanted to run because it was a wonderfully mild, spring-like morning but I was feeling sluggish and not super motivated to run 7 miles. I didn’t stay out late (in bed at 11p; party hardy’ing in my old age, for sure) and didn’t go too crazy with the sangiovese but I don’t think I sipped enough water before bed. Fortunately for me, at the party, I’d made plans to run the second half with my friend, Raela. I’d run 3.5 miles around our neighborhood and meet at her apartment and we’d run the last 3.5 miles together.
As I started my run, I felt completely un-motivated. I was so happy to be outside but my legs were not feeling it. I (stupidly? over-zealously?) mapped out a route that included a giant hill in my neighborhood so after a 1 mile warm up, I took on the hill…and walked more than half of it. Totally not against walking but did not help my mental game.
I was feeling grumpy about being tired, about not wanting to run 7 miles, about how I would be even more tired and hungry when I got home. And in the midst of this, shook my head at my thoughts. I remembered that I’m LUKCY to be running 7 miles. That I’m OUTSIDE for 7 miles on a beautiful day. That I GET to spend 35 minutes with music and then 35 minutes catching up with my friend.
After knee surgeries 4 years ago, I was grateful for EVERY run and all physical activity I did. Over time, that appreciation waned as it became the norm again to not worry about my knees and to feel confident the surgery had worked.
Now, with question marks on my horizon, I need to enjoy every single moment I can spend running or exercising. Yeah, maybe I was feeling tired but dammit, at least I was running!
I made it to Raela’s apartment with 3.6 miles run at a 9:56 min/mile average pace. After picking her up, we averaged a 9:00 min/mile pace. Changing my frame of mind to feeling appreciative of how I was spending my time – as well as catching up and laughing with my friend – helped propel me forward and end my long run on a strong, grateful note.
Everyone says it but it is true: shifting ‘ugh, I HAVE to do X‘ thoughts to ‘wow, I GET to do X‘ thoughts really does change your attitude and experience. Sometimes, we just need a little reminder.
2 thoughts on “Gratitude for the Long Run”
I absolutely love and appreciate this mindset. I’m lucky enough to have never gone through any physical limitations that prevent me from running (minus minor injuries over my 16+ years of running), but my mom has severe arthritis and can never run. Whenever I feel unmotivated or want to quit early, I just think of her, and think how she would feel so happy and lucky to be able to have a horrible run. I take my health for granted a lot, so thinking of her and the countless others who are unable to run really make me feel blessed (and slightly undeserving) for my health!
You lucky dog! and hugs to your momma!