The Marathon Course
We are built to run. We move forward with efficiency. We can cool down effectively. We are able to think and make decisions about pace, technique, and whatever else comes to mind. Thinking comes with some barriers, though. Because we have the power to make choices about what we do, motivation, or lack thereof, becomes a factor in our training. What do we do to manage those moments when motivation becomes a barrier to our training? How do we get back on track or stay moving when our energy is down? I bet there are a million answers to that because we all have our ways of maintaining our commitment to exercising.
I’m writing this after a thirty-minute run under the most horrible condition, blasting thump-thump music. I arrived at the Y this morning unsure of what I would do. My calf is still sore, more so after running twenty minutes yesterday. The parking lot was so full that I could not find an easy spot for my truck. Everything I was thinking told me to just go home. I’ve got at least 100 reasons to run this “sort of” race, so I decided to make the walk over the bridge and hit the track. Don’t make fun of me, but the distance from my truck to the track might have been two-hundred yards. When I finally got to the track (two minutes, maybe), I was washed over by a tsunami of sound. The banging bass muffled the incomprehensible exhortations of a tank topped man getting a hoard of people to do whatever form of weight lifting cardio they were doing.
Yesterday, I ran in the gym at my school with music from Hayes Carl, Paul McCartney, and whatever else is stored on my iPod. That’s right, iPod, it’s a Classic and it still charges. The tunes were soothing and let my mind focus on how I felt. However, I ran alone and before long my calf was letting me know it was time to quit. I gave in rather easily. Today, I was faced with the daunting task of running through the multitude of aural and visual distractions that I knew would beat me down in just a few minutes.
So I started running. The first few laps were tough. I could hear the guy breathing into his microphone. My calf was tight, but the tightness would move around leaving different parts of it relaxed. The thought crept into my head that maybe it was going to be okay. Below, the entire gym floor was covered with people working hard. I peeked over the rail while they were squatting and something happened. The bars going up and down must have hypnotized me or something because I got into a flow that would last for the next thirty minutes. I barely thought about my calf. I dismissed the hoots and “yee-haws” from the class below. Ultimately, I had the best run I’ve had in a long time.
I think it was the thump-thump music. Somehow the music put my mind at ease and let me do what I’m designed to do, run. I didn’t think about sticky muscle fibers, weight, angry parents, or the confirmation of Cabinet members. I just ran.
That’s how it should be…
Thank you for reading my blog. I am running this “marathon of one” to support the Kennett Area YMCA. If you would like to support the Y, I have provided the link to their site below. Since this about running for a charity of my choice, I think it would be awesome if you donated to the Kennett Area YMCA, if you have a cause close to your heart, by all means, use the spirit of this challenge to give to a charity or organization you are more comfortable with. I would love that…good for this journey’s spirit!
Photo Credit: Chris Hancock-All rights reserved