Shut Up and Just Run

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Scenes from a green house that was adjacent to a restaurant that I got to visit today.
Olive the Kitty was friendlier than she looks.
The flowers…the gorgeous light…shades of green…kitty purrs…breakfast this morning was a much needed break from the norm.

And I had a different break from the norm this evening as well. Only this was a break from a rut. A running rut.

I’m going to be honest: lately, running hasn’t been much fun. I’ve been reading books and magazines, watching video tutorials, adjusting my training plans…all in an attempt to try to improve my times. I have an app on my phone that tells me my pace every half mile. I have “power songs” on my ipod that are supposed to motivate me. Nothing has worked; I’m still slow. And it’s been extremely discouraging.

Tonight started out the way my runs typically have over the past few weeks: the robo-voice of my running app announced my pace a half mile in. It was slow..and I was upset. Why do I bother with this?  In my frustration, I made a decision. I took out my earbuds and  forced myself to ignore my gadgets. No robo-voice, no power songs, no criticizing/scrutinizing my pace or pushing myself to be something I’m not. “Shut up and just run,” I told myself. So that’s what I did.

I ran at a comfortable pace, concentrating only on putting one foot in front of the other. As big hills came up along my route, I told myself that it was okay to walk if I felt like it. Who cares what it does to my time. Relax. If I sucked, I sucked.

Guess what? I’d already made it past the first hill before I realized that I didn’t feel like walking. Then the second. In fact, I never did walk along my entire route. What I felt was pure joy — without music and without robo-prompts. It wasn’t my fastest time I’ve ever put up, but it was the best I’ve seen in quite a while. But more important, I was proud. Proud not of my run, but of my broken negativity rut. And that’s huge.

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