how jord got her groove back

Subtitled: really not interested in researching psychological disorders at the moment

After a few months of feeling sorry for myself because of my knee/hamstring lameness, it struck me that the real reason I wasn’t feeling better about my running was because I wasn’t running regularly. Funny how that works. I gave myself a dozen or more pep-talks trying to get myself back into that mental space of enjoying my runs. Turns out, talking (self or otherwise) does not activate the production and release of endorphins into the brain. You might think that is fairly self-evident, and I suppose you would be correct. I feel like I have a good understanding of the “if you don’t learn from your mistakes, you are doomed to repeat them” concept. Sometimes I feel like I have a sub or semiconscious need to double-check or triple check to make sure I’m drawing the correct conclusion from my mistakes.

The end of my pity party started when I finally picked up my copy of Run Like A Mother to reread it. The book is written by Dimity McDowell and Sarah Bowen Shea, to whom I was first introduced to in various articles out of Runner’s World. They are writers, wives, mothers, and most importantly runners. Or maybe it’s the combination of the last three aspects (since we all know the first doesn’t apply to moi). The first chapter was all I really needed. It is entitled “Running for Our Lives”. Both authors include essays about what running means to them. I’ll include what really sticks with me from each essay.

Up first is Dimity:

The trip-trap, trip-trap of my heels lulls me into a dreamy space where the reality of my ulcer-inducing life doesn’t faze me. Running is more powerful than any drug I’ve taken, and I’m fairly certain it’s the elixir that has allowed me to maintain a sliver of my former self-and my sanity… I don’t doubt myself in tough situations because I am a runner. I feel almost invincible because I’m a runner.

And now Sarah:

I need to get out and just be me, not the time-out-giver, snack-bestower, or boo-boo kisser. I want to be merely a woman in a running skirt, sweating out the stress so I can return ready for another trip to the playground… I also run to feel alive. To remind myself that I am a corporeal being, that I have a body… All my worries, internal debates, and concerns get tamped down by the rhythmic pounding of my feet. I love it.

There are probably a score or more of other underlined phrases throughout the rest of the book, but I’ll leave it here. Copyright issues and whatnot.

I think the magic is in seeing that, yes, it is a struggle for everyone. I know logically that making myself a priority is beneficial to everyone I interact with, but it is reassuring to see that I’m not the only one that struggles with it. Even though I know we all have our own dilemmas, the closer the circumstances of others are to our own, the more it resonates.

Even with a poopy run this morning, I’m still in love with running. I would really like for my iPod sensor to magically reappear. And I’ve discovered a down side to my Nike Frees. I don’t know what it is with the tread, but the gaps are HUUUUUUGE. I spend about 10 minutes after each run picking out pieces of gravel. Not a deal breaker, but gravel is permanently banned from my “awesome-est uses for rocks” list. Major blow to gravel’s self-esteem, that is.

new shoes!

And so not like I meant in the old days (the old requirement was at least one dangerously pointy end). My Nike Frees showed up on Wednesday and I ran in them both Thursday and Friday. They felt crazy at first since they are supposed to mimic being barefoot. I wouldn’t  say that, but they definitely felt different from my other running shoes. They fit kind of crazy. It’s all one piece. No tongue. It’s a workout just to get my feet in them. lol I have been informed that I have abnormally wide feet for their length (by a jack*ss I went to high school with, not by a professional 😉 ). Once I get my feet in I still have a thumb-width of toe room. Just another weird aspect of myself that I am oversharing.

ANYWAY. I’ve had great runs lately. I’ve tweaked my training schedule a dozen times and settled on doing my long runs on Monday (Thanks SRG!) since it just works better. Also, it’s more comfortable to run at 6:30 am than 9:30 pm.

THIS IS HOW GOOD MY RUNNING IS: I am excited to do my strength training tomorrow! Read that again, slowly. I’ll wait. Yeah, I said it. EXCITED. FOR. STRENGTH. TRAINING. Why? I can’t explain. Let’s just go with endorphin overload.

OH! The only bad thing is that I somehow lost my Nike+ sensor. Not the shoe part but the plug-into-the-iPod part. Lame. I know I hid it somewhere but for the life of me, I cannot remember where. I’m just too smart for my own good. But I’m going to stop by my coffee shop later to see if I might have left it there.

And now it’s time to get back to my schizophrenia seminar. Each time I take a psychology seminar I thank the powers that be for not being a psych major. It makes my brain cry even though I love everything about psychology.

motivation

I rediscovered a bookmarked site last night while searching for inspiration. It’s from Runner’s World and it’s a few years old, but it’s still good stuff. It’s quite the list, so I think I’ll tackle a few each (off) day until I get through the list.

1. Start a blog. Check. In fact, it might have been this list that inspired my first running blog. Short lived, but that’s just how things work out some days.

2. Get a new pair of shoes. Did it. I haven’t put too many miles on these shoes, although they certainly feel less like pillows on my feet than they first did.I’m already thinking about the next pair.

3. Running commentary. “Running is a big question mark that’s there each and every day. It asks you, ‘Are you going to be a wimp, or are you going to be strong today?'”- Peter Maher Just like Yogi Berra said “it’s 90% mental and the other half is physical.” Unlike baseball, running is actually a physically challenging pastime and I prefer to choose smart-strong.

4. Go soft. Mix up the terrain. Which I do. I think it might be time to run my trail loops counterclockwise again. Or to head in a different direction. Or back to the gravel paths. Maybe.

5. Look to the past. The example they give is Emil Zatopek. Hard core. Honestly, nothing about me is hard-core since I didn’t grow up behind the Iron Curtain. I’m fine with that. I came to the understanding that not everyone can be exceptional and that I’m usually somewhere in the widest part of the bell curve of life. And that’s cool.

It’s quite possible that my lack of enthusiasm is due to the headache I’ve had for the last week. Off to drink more water…