“Methinks that the moment my legs began to move, my thoughts began to flow.”
- Henry David Thoreau
Recently, I’ve really been struggling with my runs. I have to talk myself into running every time one pops up on my calendar. I’ve considered dropping out of this full-marathon training, but the thing is: I really want to achieve this goal. I’m not sure what’s different this time–what is making it harder?
This past weekend, I had an 11-miler on the brain. I can’t explain to you all that went through my brain concerning this run: We were moving on Saturday, so should I do it Friday morning? Well, we were closing at 9am, and that didn’t leave much time. Maybe I should do it Sunday, or Monday. But the forecast showed cold, cold, cold those days. Maybe I could fit it in before people showed up to help us move on Saturday. But would I really want to be lifting and carrying boxes and furniture all day if I’d just finished an 11-mile run? I went through each of these scenarios at least seventeen times. (Oh, the joys of having an anxiety disorder…) The more I thought about it, the more jumbled my mind became. And soon, I was associating this 11-miler with stress and anxiety. I was absolutely dreading it. I had talked myself into believing that I wasn’t going to be able to complete the run. I was too busy, too tired, had too much to do.
Finally, on Sunday morning, I decided to just get it over with. I probably wouldn’t even be able to finish, and I’d have to call B to come pick me up, but oh well. I’d try. So, I loaded up my iPhone with the second half of my current audiobook (What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty–a GREAT read!–but that is beside the point), laced up my PureFlows, shoved my earbuds under my earwarmers, and hit the road. I made a conscious decision to take it nice and easy. I needed to listen to my body, and my body was telling me that I was exhausted. And I had every right to be exhausted! We’d been moving for the past two days, and had a busy week before that!
After the first mile, I started to get into my groove. Mile two brought me to my favorite running trail (I just hook up with it in a different spot than when we lived at the apartment). By mile four I was running on a beautiful part of the trail I’d never seen before. I got caught up in the wonderful story of Alice and Nick, hoping for them to be able to rekindle their marriage, and Alice’s sister Elizabeth, praying that her IVF cycle would work this time around. I allowed myself walking/water breaks every two miles. My turn-around came quicker than expected. I averaged 9:45 min/miles, which is slower than I’d ideally run during the marathon. But the point is, I finished.
By the time I got home, the mumbo-jumbo that had been my brain was flowing like a steady stream again. It was truly like a switch had been turned. Goodbye, swirling whirlpool of anxiety. Hello, still and peaceful mind.
How do you find clarity?