Yesterday, I went for a run.
People always think that’s not a big deal for me. Yes, I’ve run a ton of marathons… but that doesn’t mean I still don’t have trouble motivating myself to go out for a regular training run. Sometimes I joke that “I only run when I get a medal at the end!” but that’s actually only kind of a joke – not because I am so desperate for a cheap token on a ribbon, but because I often am just not motivated to go run when it’s not something I’ve committed to doing (either by registering for the race or agreeing to lead a training group). But yesterday, I ran.
My run was inspired by a few things. First, the fact that I have two people following a marathon training plan that I designed, and that we’re all running the same race the end of September. It feels pretty darn hypocritical for me to tell them they need to run three days a week when I’m only running the long run on weekends, no? Plus, it gives me a chance to better adjust the plan if I am running it myself and getting a feel for it.
My second inspiration was Scott Jurek’s autobiography, Eat and Run, which I finally finished reading Tuesday night. It. Was. Amazing. I’ve read so many running books that it takes a lot for me to get excited about one, and I went into this one with pretty low expectations, but it really blew me out of the water. While Jurek is arguably one of the best ultrarunners in the world, he manages to convey his story in an incredibly humble way that encourages readers to push themselves – that maybe we could do what he does. Furthermore, while Jurek’s vegan diet is incredibly clean and admirable, he writes about it in a very relatable way – even talking about how he tried raw veganism and it didn’t work for him. Finishing his book made me want to try harder, on both the diet and exercise fronts, and most importantly, it made me want to recapture the joy of running.
This is how last night found me out running on the Katy Trail in Dallas – along with my third inspiration of a new running podcast (more on that in a bit). Hard to believe that I’ve worked in Dallas for eight months and this is the first time I’ve gone for a run there that was a) over 3 miles and b) not on the treadmill! But I did it, I had a blast, and now I want to make it part of my regular schedule. I hunted around the internet while on the plane tonight, and it looks like Lululemon hosts a run club on the Katy Trail on Tuesday nights, which sounds like it might be fun. Any Dallas readers know of any other running groups I might be able to join? I’m thinking that a group setting would be like a class in that it would provide accountability and encourage me to make going a priority, kind of like doing Crossfit instead of going to lunch has become for me lately. I can’t guarantee that I’ll be able to do it every single time, but making it a priority will ensure I do it more than the zero times I’ve been doing it so far.
While I’m asking for advice to make running during the week more of a ritual, yesterday I listened to a podcast while running – the inaugural episode of Runner Academy. Not going to lie, I did have kind of a special interest in listening, as I’m featured as a guest on the second episode. But in addition to the interesting content and tips (at least in the first episode – that’s up to you to decide whether I am “interesting content” in my interview during episode 2!), I discovered that it’s pretty engaging to listen to a podcast while running. It made the time fly by much more than music does, perhaps because I felt like I was getting to multitask while I was running. Though even 3 miles is a struggle on the treadmill, I hit 5.3 last night and felt like I had only been out there for 20 minutes. So this brings me to my question I’d like your take on – what other podcasts can you recommend? They definitely don’t have to be running-related; just whatever you think is interesting!
So with all those questions out there, let’s get back to the TL;DR, which is: I ran. When I finished, I was hot and sweaty and tired, but I was also incredibly proud of myself and what I had just accomplished. I called/IMed anyone and everyone who would listen to tell them how excited I was about what I had just done… and realized that in the process, I had also managed to put myself in the best mood ever. And I want to do it again.
Now, where’s my medal?