Wednesday morning’s run was incredibly empowering. Usually, I’d plan to enter the park at 72nd Street and essentially complete about ¾ of the bottom loop of Central Park, but instead, I went into the run with the intention of completing a full lap. After all, only 3 days ago I was grunting my way up and down Harlem Hill—twice—so a 1.7-mile lap seemed suddenly like a breeze.
It’s kind of funny, because I feel like when I talk to or read other blogs written by fellow runners and competitors, their mantras are positive and uplifting—something along the lines of “run hard” and the likes. During the Queens Half Marathon, I maintaining a an upbeat attitude and repeated the words, “Use your yogi breath.” (During Manhattan, I was too busy defrosting my eyelashes.)
During the More/Fitness Half Marathon, however, I found myself saying a somewhat quirky sentence over and over—and an obvious one at that. “This would be so much easier without these damn hills.” I mean, could I have been focusing on something more counteractive to my goal?
That brings me to Wednesday morning’s run. Pretty typical by my standards, I ran my usual 5(ish)-mile course from around Grand Central to the lower loop of Central Park and back home. The main difference was that I set an intention for my workout: I won’t take today’s run for granted.
It’s easy to do that, isn’t it? Every morning, I wake up and think about how far I’m going to run and where. I get excited, I get dressed, and I get out there to do it. Sometimes it’s great, sometimes it’s less than great; either way I feel better than ever afterward and throughout the rest of the day. (After all, no one has ever regretted working out.)
But that’s the danger of routine—you tend to lose sight of the value of what you’re doing.
The More/Fitness Half Marathon helped me to reevaluate my Central Park runs. As I passed the Bethesda Fountain, I thought about how exhausted I was on Sunday morning as I veered left and dry heaved into the dividers (trust me, I’m laughing), salt coming out of every pore of my body. And while my body was still somewhat tired and sore on Wednesday morning—even though I gave myself 2 days of rest from running—that mantra enabled me to feel grateful for how generally fun, relaxed and enjoyable my weekday run was, at least when compared to the conditions and circumstances of the race just a couple of days before.
I’d like to say this to myself more often. I won’t take today’s run for granted. Who knows; maybe it’ll work, maybe it won’t. Regardless, it’s certainly a refreshing take on an activity that’s become as expected as my morning coffee, my evening spritzer, and my hourly candy break.
I won’t take today’s run for granted. Has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?
What are your running matras? Do you have something you repeat to yourself over and over to get you through a tough run or race? What’s the weirdest or quirkiest thought that’s ever popped into your head mid-competition?