Today, I am celebrating a ONE MONTH MILESTONE of consistent running. A month may not be a long time in the land of running and elite marathoners, but for this gal - it is an achievement to be proud of. I am literally astounded at my body; what it has done and will do for me. Improvements are already noted in my lung capacity, leg power and overall wellbeing. The scale hasn't moved much, but my clothes are loose-fitting and I see changes all around. I am even sleeping better at night.
MC and I meet Monday and Wednesday (or Thursday) evenings in the neighbourhood and Saturday mornings at a nearby lake. I know one thing for sure: having a fierce and dedicated woman next to you as your feet pound the trails is super motivating. In the beginning, if I felt even a slight hint of "I don't feel like it" coming on, just knowing that I had someone to meet was enough of a kick out the door. I did not want to let her down! It has since evolved into a realization that I don't want to let myself down either!
Running has completely opened up my mind, body and soul; breathing new life into my every cell.
I am starting to fight myself: some of the days in between I am just itchin' to go for a run, but I must refrain for I know the importance of rest days. In the past, I have fallen victim to the "run too much, too soon and lose interest"; scoring myself some shin splints, excruciating pain in both knees, and a general dislike of running because "it hurts too much"! Easing into it the last thirty days, I am noticing my muscles and joints have adjusted well and continue to perform as they should. I will up the mileage and run days gradually when the time is right.
Tried & true keys to my success thus far:
1. Having a positive running partner with similar attitude, goals and running style... mutual encouragement.
2. Being present & finding my rhythm. Focus on my breathing...in through the nose, out of the mouth....listening...the steady rhythm of my lungs as air moves in and rushes out.... instead of the noticing the feeling of my heavy legs that want to cave, or the aching in my left hip on uneven trails. Find your rhythm. For MC, it is the pounding of her feet on the ground. Interesting, we all have these focal points that we may or may not even be aware of. They work!
3. Being constantly aware of what is going on in my mind and nipping ANY inner negative self-talk or self-doubt at the bud. Counteracting them with positive statements & affirmations. "I can"..."I am"... The power of the mind is huge. HUGE! Really working on the inner talk and self in general. Life is really too short to be anything but positive and do anything but continuously improve and grow and experience...on all levels. Strive, seek, find.....do....be. Embrace the positive: love, gratitude, hope, peace, awe and all those other important aspects of the one life we are given to really LIVE. Live a life of value to yourself and others.
What's next.... incorporating a weight training program, cleaner eating and my reward after a tough run tonight:
Kale & Berry Protein Shake
1/2 c fresh Kale
1/4 c raspberries
1/4 c blueberries
1 c water
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
Blend & enjoy.