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Monday, December 12, 2011

Just Run

I always wondered how some people found running relaxing.

I don't think this is an uncommon questions. People like myself, who overtrain and put too much importance on every run, no doubt know what I mean. People who hate running entirely definitely understand.

Ever since high school, I was a runner because it was the one physical thing at which I actually had some skill. When I decided, a little over a year ago, that I needed to take my health more seriously, there was really no other option to which I thought about turning. Running was the answer, just like it always has been.

But, just like I always have, I pushed too hard, too fast. It left me with knee pain, exhaustion, and a bit of a mental burnout, which is just ridiculous. How could I possibly burn myself out on my own personal hobby? Easy. Too hard, too fast.

Now, I'm taking it easy. A little too easy, but I think that's better than the opposite extreme. Still, I want to strike a balance between getting better and still enjoying the activity. I hit that balance today.

Despite repeated personal promises to the contrary, I have not been running regularly for the last couple months, and yet something last night told me that I'd enjoy it this morning. I had planned for a little four-miler, so I checked my course (a nice, simply out-and-back), and set my running stuff out. I got up a little later than I meant to, but still had plenty of time to complete the workout, so I did. I jogged four miles, not taking a watch with me, and just enjoyed the world around me. Sure, it was cloudy and dismal out. I didn't care. Just meant that I wasn't going to overheat. I didn't run hard, I didn't work the hills, and I didn't have any idea how long it took me. Today, I just ran.

And what was the result? When I got home, I did a little extra workout. Then I had a lot of water, followed by an actual breakfast. I've had more water today than probably in the last week combined, and I went to my work with a gusto and focus the likes of which haven't been seen in me for some time. I've already got tomorrow's work done. Booyah.

I really wish there were a more convincing voice in my head for the good-for-me things in life. The voice that wants candy and beer is plenty convincing already. It needs a legitimate counterpart. The one that says, "Don't do that. You'll feel like crap tomorrow." Or the one in charge of, "Remember how good you felt after your last run? Do that again." I need those voices to wake me up.

And not just some alarm.

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