Thursday, May 23, 2013

Running Away Is Still Running

Yes, those tired jokes: The only time you'll see me running is if I'm being chased, etc.

Well you know what? It's okay if you're running because you're running away from something. In a metaphorical sense, at least.

Jennifer posted on the Facebook page:

I read some of your blogs & I'm gonna try for 2 months. I used to run..... It's what got me through my divorce. I loved it then but now when I think about it I think Yuck!! I think now I'm just lazy.

My reply:

I don't know about lazy. I definitely love running MORE when I really need it: after a bad day, during a stressful time, etc. - so during a divorce it would likely feel heavenly. I wonder, though, if part of the "YUCK" is that in your mind, running is now associated with that bad time? If so, doing it a little bit - slowly! - now may unhook it. (Also, if you're a stress runner, you might try it on days that are sort of sucky - you'll probably like it more.)

One of the best things about running is that it makes you feel better. And sometimes the worse you feel, the bigger the benefit.

Lately I've been racking up more and faster miles than I have since, well, probably since I ran my marathon more than a decade ago. When I'm feeling mellow and happy (hey, it's happened), I sometimes have to force myself to run. Afterward I usually feel mellower and happier, but the absolute difference between before and after is a lot less. These days the delta is huge.

So my advice for today is: if you need motivation, think of something that gives you angst, and then go running.


Anonymous said...

I just want to thank you for blog - I randomly stumbled on it a few months ago. I used to be a runner but after gaining too much weight in nursing school I stopped, and felt to intimidated to start again. After reading your advice it gave me the motivation/courage to start again ... I always chant "slow it down" in my head when I run .. I just ran my first 5K a few weeks ago - so what if my friend walked the whole thing while I jogged beside her? I was still running! And my other friend was kind of not really believing that running slow is still running - but she couldn't even run the entire 5K at her "faster" pace so in the end I think you were right! Run slow! So thank you sooo much for helping me turn my life back around and becoming a runner again!! <3

Denise said...

I wish I could! Tore my calf muscle running last week...what do you suggest? I'm kind of terrified to start again...who knew that muscles could just snap like that?

L. said...

Ha ha, maybe that's why I did unexpectedly well when I tried going for a run at ass o'clock this past week?

I'm joking, but I DID do really well and I wanted to let you know, because it was after I saw the video you posted that I figured out some stuff on how my form should be. I shaved at least a MINUTE off the time it takes me to do a mile. I used to average out around 11:45. This past week--more like 10:30. I never thought I'd break 11. So thank you ... again!

(I am still a believer in running slow, but the neat part was that I wasn't even trying--I was just focusing on the form.)

OMDG said...

So, lately I've found that a big impediment to exercising is that I'm worried it will make me even more tired than I already am. Because it always does. I already feel like I want to lie on the couch constantly and that as a result I don't pay enough attention to the kiddo, and after I run, I only want to lie on the couch more. I guess what I'm saying is that, yes, exercise is relaxing, but it is NOT energizing. Do you have any suggestions? I do think running would help me feel better overall, but I don't have anyone to watch my daughter for the duration of both my run AND the shower + 2 hour nap that would necessarily follow.

ozma said...

I am very curious about this stasis tendency I have--and maybe that's what she is calling lazy. It's like an inertia. It's especially bizarre when you avoid something that would make you feel really good, much, much better. Like running. But also things that will really improve your mood or lot. I think there is a tendency to get into a rut in some situations and not get on the ladder and walk on out. It is partly the effort seems difficult but it is also something else--like a tendency of people to want to stay in the same state they are in even if it sucks. A totally perplexing inertia some people have, although I think it is really common.

Another thing is that I have run when I was super depressed but a big part of it was that there was anger in my depression. Anger has some energy maybe?

But it's good advice. Just get up and go. Also, I'd say don't even focus on running. Run/walk or whatever. Just put one foot in front of the other. Forward motion. Break the hypnotic effect of stasis.

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lisa said...

I find that running, the first two-three weeks, is not energizing. After that, you have more energy on a daily basis, even if not specifically after running. Remember that it takes your body a few weeks to get used to anything.

Also, I sound like a diet freak, but cut the sugar, wheat and white carbs from your diet, up the fat and protein, and see if that doesn't make a difference.

Formerly fat and lazy 52 year old woman who can now squat 195, run 4 miles and do 5 pullups!

CNA Training said...

As long as you make your mind run, it is still a good exercise. Running physically is still a good habit. Running is still running. Even the ifs.

Anonymous said...

HI there, been ages since we have heard from you - just wanted to check in that you are okay!
love the blog, worry when its an extended time period between posts!

Gloria Terrill said...

I understand now you feel. In my case now I usually feel like I have far too much going on to handle. I need to run, but I keep dragging my feet. The tasks are endless. It is almost like being in Las Vegas. Some of those casinos look so close. Once you start walking towards them, they seem to to get further in some cases. Ultimately in the end, I will finally get there as long as I am moving forward.