Having done this running thing for just over a year, I've experienced so many mind and body changes that it still amazes me and creates a real sense of satisfaction with myself when I see another change....and to quote Oprah, I have an "ah ha moment". I had one of those today.
Got up this morning like normal at 3:40. Since I'm training for my first HM I have a plan that I follow religiously and being a typical type A gal, I never (and I mean never) deviate from the plan. Today was a scheduled rest day so what do you do when the plan says to rest, you rest. So I get up, grab my morning cup of joe and sit on the couch to watch some infomercials on TV (not much on at 4am), I feel my anxiety starting to rise. Now I don't know why I'm having this anxiety...have the normal amount of stress for a working wife and mom of 2 kids with a pretty stressful job, just normal stuff but I know I'm heading for a bad place. Before I ran, I would have headed for the refrigerator and spent the day grazing to help eleviate the stress levels (you know typical self medicating behaviors). Instead I got up, put on the gear, and went for a run. Nothing major, 4 miles, but a fast, energetic, really burn the stress out kind of 4 miles. AND IT WAS AWESOME! As I'm running I'm realizing how much I've changed in the past year and the AH HA kicked in and I really felt like a runner, an athlete who decided that this thing I do was so much a part of me that it has become the thing I do when I feel good, and more important, when I feel bad....it's replaced all that self destructive stuff that I used to do before that only made me feel worse.....and I realized that no one other than another runner would understand the impact of that AH HA moment. When I was done, the stress was gone replaced by the feeling of satisfaction and contentment....now on to face the day in a good place.....
If you've ever experienced an Ah Ha moment please share....
TRUST THE TRAINING!
I feel honored to respond to this first, cyndi. As a 23 year old guy, I don't watch much of the O, but I think the description as an Ah HA! moment is perfect. I had one earlier this week: I've been running since April, ever since losing my job and switching game plans to start applying for grad school. Running was the one thing in my life I was proud of, so I ran most days in May, every day in June and 29/31 days in July. Believe it or not, I started to wake up every day this month with some overuse soreness. I decided to try some tempo runs and some rest days and a quality over quantity approach, and I was out at 10:00 am in Florida on Wednesday, after taking Tuesday COMPLETELY OFF!! And my body was like "HA 90 degrees, no problem. And I was able to just glide through the tempo 4 miler with a "I got this" mentality; "Ah HA! this is why they say take the rest days, they pay off immediately on your next run!!" I also had one about a month ago, when a sudden urge to head to the liquor store hit me - a feeling I worked my rear end off to unacquaint myself with 18 months ago. That was my self-medicating behavior, unfortunately. I went into my bedroom to get dressed for the store, but instead put on my running clothes and went outside. And I was so proud: "ah ha! I have replaced unhealthy coping behaviors with super-healthy ones, and have a new tool in my belt!" These moments are the reason this running thing never gets old, and just when it's getting a little humdrum and hard to stay motivated, these moments appear like a water station in a desert race. Best of luck with the half you are training for, and keep enjoying the seemingly never ending joys of being a runner! My goal is to run one in January since I live right outside Orlando and it would be too cool to run my first half in Disney World!!
Thanks for your post. I'm a new runner... I'm still on week 7 of the Couch25K even though I have been on the program for 10 weeks. I can't seem to get past this place mentally. I also have some other behaviors I need to change to be at the place you describe. It's nice to know that most likely, if I stick to this plan I'm working next year, I will be at that place. Next year's coming anyway....
To Bonnie V:
Don't you worry yourself over where you are in the program -- remember it's your individualized program to tweak how you see fit/when you feel fit (no pun really intended) Take it from me - I've been trying to get through C25K for approx. 2 months now -- (injury in W3) shin splints sent me to get fitted for proper shoes & set me back to W1. Soon thereafter the realization occured that I truly needed additional walking time in proportion to running time-- so, I have to tweak the program to meet my own personal needs. I look at it this way: It's a blessing that I'm off the couch in the first place - I want to do this thing right w/out injuries for a long time - so if it takes me a little longer to get started, I'm giving myself a break here, I'm just proud to be out there trying and for now everyday is more like an Ahha day for me.
I hope you will be at peace as you continue on your daily journey at your own pace!
Cyndi it is encouraging to see how much habits can change for the better - gives me something to look forward to down the road, so to speak!
I am doing C25K and I'm only in week 2 (after two weeks in week 1). This is the third time I tried to take up the habit of running. The first two times I stopped because I was having pain in my shins and at the beginning of this program, I could feel a little discomfort again. I started stretching more before running and taking calcium. I don't know which helped but my Aha moment came the other day, on my cool down walk, heading back home, when I realized - my shins don't hurt - in fact NOTHING hurts... actually, I am feeling really, really good!