Run Hard when it’s Hard to Run

Run hard when it’s hard to run. 

Those are the fabulous words my mom chose to engrave on my Hanukkah nano. Which I love.

Those words made me address my own hidden fears- Am I running as hard as I could be?

When I began running I could feel my heart in my throat. At times two miles seemed nearly impossible, but there I was, day in, day out running it. Gradually I made my way from a 12 minute mile, to 11 minutes, to 10, to 9, and even 8. I continued to run two miles, but the difficulty of the run shifted. I was finding new challenges within the same distance. I would go on rainy days. Or days that seemed too hot. Or the sun was blinding. I didn’t care because I had a goal in mind- I needed to do my two miles and I needed to run 52 miles per month. It’s what I promised myself. By my first month I made the shift and conquered three miles but continued to regularly run two. By my third month running, the once challenging 2 miles became easy, but it was comfortable. I had made the transition into somewhat of a runner. Hello, I now own running sneakers. And they are so hip. But could I do more than my comfortable two miles? 

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If there’s something I’ve learned through my escapades in trying to be healthy it’s that the brain is a powerful thing. And mine is super powerful- in a negative way. Usually when I hit the two mile marker I hear my brain- you’re good- you earned pizza today! She’s such a bitch, that brain of mine. I start to think I can do more, but she talks me out of it. But your knees… don’t forget your knees- they are so delicate. And you also earned that pizza. You must be famished from exerting so much energy. BRAIN! 

So, today I shut my brain off. I literally told her to shut her trap, I looked dead ahead, and I ran. I got to two miles- keep going, you feel good. I got to three miles- I actually feel good. And then a great song came onto my Hanukkah nano, and it hit me- just keep going. And I did! Today I ran four miles- the most I have ever done. And I feel fantastic. Take that brain. You negative Nancy. 

John wasn’t feeling too hot after that ten year reunion I filled you in on, so he just snapped some pictures as I completed my run- I recognize how creepy this looked to everyone around us, but it was imperative that this day go down in my personal history. 

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FEELING LIKE A CHAMPION! A sweaty, disgusting, champion. 

And that my friends is the story of the first time I ran four miles. Thanks for reading along! Tomorrow I will discuss- songs to listen to when running four miles. Now, I will leave you with what the gym left with me today:

222Yep. It’s real. This is really a class at my gym now.

 

The Seven Minute Leap

Three months ago I allowed myself to slowly acclimate to a new lifestyle which included running. Personally, I have never been too fond of allowing myself to grow into anything. Instead, I crave immediate satisfaction, something that has stifled personal growth.

The first time I ran three miles was while visiting my grandparents this summer. (Throw back Sunday! Click me!)
I felt the same pride that I felt after getting my ass to the boardwalk for the first time. I allowed myself to go slowly, and I recognized that if I was going to make this a lifestyle choice I had to let time take over.

I ran three miles for the first time in 35 minutes. The time actually didn’t matter at all- I rushed back to my grandparents to tell my grandfather, I’m proud of you kid.

That’s been a driving force for me in a lot of ways. When I can’t get myself out the door, there is my grandpa in the back of my head, I’m proud of you.

But the truth is, following that day I have avoided running 3 miles- it’s hard!

I found it difficult to be inspired to run more than 2 miles- until this week. As John and I have made the transfer to the gym world, he has been killing it. Truth be told, I’m slightly competitive. If he can do it, I can do it. And if all of you wonderful bloggers I follow can do it, I can do it. And then I thought to myself- no, no, no, if I can do it, I can do it. I can do it- if there is one thing I’ve learned, running is all mental.

Tuesday- two miles
Thursday- three miles
Friday- three miles
Saturday- three miles
Sunday- three miles

I can now clearly say from the time that I’ve started running- I have made progress.

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Guys. That’s a seven minute difference. And as this registered, I stood there in shock, by myself, smiling like a lunatic. Can I dance about this?! I kind of want to.

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So thank you, thank you, to all of you inspiring people. And you know who you are, but so many of you keep me motivated, and it’s you that don’t allow me to stop. And I feel pumped. Because I know I’m not done yet, I feel like it’s all getting started.