It occurred to me that one of the things that made me continue going back to my morning walks was the wildlife. Little fuzzyheads, ducks, seagulls and the occasional crane or turtle… sometimes I’d see squirrels, squirrels, squirrels, squirrels, squirrels too! So why is it that now that I’ve started a running program [couch to 5k] (and changed my exercise route), I forgot about the nature?
I distinctly remember on my last run, it was cold (windchill 15-20°F), I was cranky, and I know I didn’t look around at all the nature surrounding me. Instead I tried to push myself and had negative thoughts about my performance. Needless to say, I didn’t feel content after my run.
So I made a mental promise to myself that from now on, I would enjoy the scenery, relax, be OK with where I am today, and not push myself to be more than I am today. I’m a beginner, being upset about my time is just silly. I’m supposed to be concentrating on endurance, not how fast I can get from point A to point B. And so what if I’m only going 2 miles now instead of 3… I’m able to do that 2 miles in about a half hour (walk/jog) where the 3 miles took me just over an hour (walk). I need to be happy with where I am today and give myself praise for doing well and for sticking with the program. Live in the present.
These are key elements taught in yoga, ‘be ok, with where you are today’, ‘don’t overdo’… and I’m usually pretty good at not pushing myself in yoga, because you can really injure yourself if you overdo, so why did I forget that key aspect in my running? Surely I know better than to push myself, or else face an injury.
Keeping in mind this mental pact I made with myself, I did some research last night on the proper form for running (article, video). So during today’s run I kept the correct form in mind, allowed nature to bring about a calm in me, and didn’t worry about my time (although I did set my stopwatch, cuz I’m still curious). I had a great run! During the walking sessions of the walk/run program I took pictures (à la , Yes Man), hoping they would not be blurry, but not really caring. My mind was calm, my torso was loose, and my endurance was better. I was able to sustain the running for nearly the whole 60 seconds on all 8 run sessions, an all time record for me. I got to the turn around point before I knew it!
One of the things that makes a yoga session a good one is when you don’t realize that the class is nearly over. In other words, you aren’t concentrating on the time, you are ‘in the zone’ and having a good session. Today’s run was like that. I didn’t worry about the silly things that a beginner shouldn’t worry about, I was out there getting healthy and enjoying nature. Want to know the funny part? My time actually improved! Haha! I originally thought that I had taken a minute longer, but when I looked at my chart, it was actually a minute less! How about that!?
You could attribute my better run to a warmer day with sunshine (windchill 29°F), but I think it had a lot more to do with my attitude and my form. My mind was calm and by taking in the nature my face actually softened and my body relaxed. 🙂
I took seven pictures, these were the best three…
My work, my yoga, is to remember that it is about the journey, not the destination.
Oh, I keep forgetting to mention that I saw a squirrel on one of my runs (Thu, Jan 7) and another squirrel on my puppy stroll yesterday. Unfortunately, I was not able to get my camera out in time. 😕
Since today was the first time I was able to nearly sustain the run sessions, I plan to do week 1 for another week before I move on to week 2.
Today is Produce Wednesday, and I have some new food/product finds I want to tell you about, so I’ll probably post twice today!