Archives for posts with tag: running

Following my 4 miler yesterday morning, I had some serious hip discomfort in my left hip. I am basically convinced at this point that the entire left side of my body is slowly shutting down. I RSVP’d for a JackRabbit yoga class and was REALLY looking forward to it since the topic was supposed to be, get this, mother effing hips, y’all. Class started at 6:30pm and imagine how happy I was, when, at 6:10pm, I found myself stuck on a train that clearly had no intentions of moving anytime soon. I had such a great day emotionally yesterday and I knew this train + yoga class situation had the potential to undo all of the good vibes I was feeling. I get super stressed about being late for things and I knew that, even if the train started moving again, I’d have to haul ass once I got to my stop just to make it close to starting time. I stood on that train for about 3 minutes going back and forth about what to do. I felt really bad about RSVPing and not showing up. I was starving already and, if I made the class, I wouldn’t be home until after 8. I was really wanting to stretch out my hip and knew there was a zero percent chance of that happening if I just went home. It was raining and I just wanted to curl up in bed and watch shitty tv. 

Finally, I made the decision to just head home, more to save myself the stress of trying to make it to class on time than anything else. I walked home in the pouring rain and was SO happy to get into my apartment and carbo load. As much as I appreciate how (relatively) committed I’ve been to working out the past year or so, I have to keep reminding myself that it’s not. that. serious. If I miss a workout, or run one mile less than the training plan, or decide to go to yoga instead of going for my run, it’s not the end of the world. I am a serious planner, and I beat myself (and others, let’s be real) up if the plan doesn’t go the way I anticipated. But it’s important to have balance and not get burned out and not get to the point where I’m doing damage to my body or soul all because I was too inflexible. 

The solution to my train ish yesterday? Going today instead. So simple, and yet I had some serious pause about not doing my run this morning and going to yoga instead. But, at the end of the day, I want to make sure that I wait until I’m actually and old lady to have old lady hips, and the best way of making sure that happens to learning to listen to my body. And do lots of pigeon pose- that shit works, forreals.

Not to be crazy dramatic, but I feel like running saved my soul today. I talked to my dad and found out that my grandma is on hospice now. She’s been declining for awhile, and I’d already grieved the loss of the grandma I had known and the grandma I would never know. So I wasn’t all that upset to hear the news because it is just another step towards what will be her eventual death. But even though I wasn’t sobbing, I instinctively knew that I needed to take care of myself tonight. Not in the social worker, “What are you doing for self-care?” way, but in a different, MY BODY IS SCREAMING OUT TO RELEASE SOMETHING, kinda way. I couldn’t wait to get home to run. And I knew that the elliptical at the gym wasn’t going to cut it. I needed a balls out, cold wind on my face, interacting with the world type of run.

I told myself that I was going to get real with myself on this run in the hopes that forcing myself to think about my grandma’s death would be better to do while running than not. Halfway through, I started repeating to myself, “Grandma is dying, grandma is going to die”. Nothing. Which, of course, made me think that this was working like gangbusters! Could I have discovered the cure for sadness?? Then, all of a sudden, I started repeating, “I love you, Grandma”. And I started to get choked up. “This is it!”, I thought. This was going to be mad therapeutic. But the tears wouldn’t come. I think it’s probably because my lungs were preoccupied with about a million other things. So no tears. BUT, there was this incredible moment when I honestly felt like my grandma was simultaneously feeling what I was saying. That she was feeling in her body the love that I was feeling in mine while I ran.

So I decided to run for her. Not a run powered by the intense sadness of losing her, but powered by the even more intense love and gratitude I have for having known her. Running with the strength that I know is partly there because she put it there. Feeling my body do the things that hers cannot and being so happy that it is able to do these things. Knowing how strong and fragile it is. I am. By the end of the run, I was laughing like a maniac. I felt like I could have run forever. When I got to the end, a really good song came on and I started running again. I just had to. It was so what my body and soul were needing.

Do I think every run will be this magical? No. I’m not delusional. And I wouldn’t want every run to be like this either. I think some runs need to be hard. They need to be battles we fight with our body. Just to remind ourselves that one day we’ll lose those battles. But right now, in this moment, we can win.

I never thought I could be so proud of being lazy. I had planned on a 2-3 mile (okay, maybe 1.5 mile) run today. Last night, I had trouble falling, and then staying asleep. I’ve had an oddly intense few days at work, and I think it’s seeping into my home life a little. Needless to say, I woke up this morning feeling pretty run down. Add to that a day of crises and a less than filling lunch, and I was counting the minutes until I could head home. I had told my supervisor that I was going to go for a nice run as self care. Even though it looked like rain! I’m just that hardcore! But, the whole way home, I was dreading the idea of having to set out for a run where I may or may not get poured on mid-jog. So I didn’t. I decided that, instead of going for a run, I was going to stay home and cook a nice meal and totally veg.

Per usual, I had this internal debate in my head as to whether deciding not to run was self-care or sheer laziness. And then, on my walk from the bus to the house, I realized: It didn’t fucking matter (this realization may have led to me walking down the street smiling to myself like a lunatic. I can neither confirm nor deny). Whether I was just making excuses, or honestly too run down to run miles, didn’t really matter. What my body was telling me was that I was hungry, tired, and stressed. And, yeah, going for a run might have helped. But so could allowing myself a break and doing something else that I genuinely enjoy doing and that makes me happy. This might be what listening to your body is sorta all about!

Running is not relaxing to me. It clears my head and it makes me feel good for accomplishing a goal, but I don’t enjoy it. Today, what my body was telling me is that it didn’t need to be challenged and pushed. It needed to be coddled and nourished. And if “nourished” means 3 Kinder Buenos (maybe the greatest candy bar ever invented) and trashy TV, then so be it.