Running Outdoors: It’s rough out there

My gym is redoing the floors and all the classes have been cancelled so I decided to give “running outdoors” a try. It’s rough out there. I went to one of my favorite parks to run by the river and started out with a lot of confidence which quickly dwindled as I continued on. I finished it but I have admit, it’s pretty rough out there… but beautiful.

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As soon as I started running I knew this was going to be different. I could feel the wind slowing me down and I figure that my time would suffer but I felt pretty great. I had my Songza app going with uplifting songs that have never failed to get me through the rough spots and I was determined to see it through.

It wasn’t easy though, not by a long shot. I time/pace myself with music. I have found that it takes me 10 songs to run 3.11 miles. This took 11 (I told you I was slower). I always feel that I want to start walking but I fear that I won’t be able to run again so I tell myself, “just one more minute” and I keep telling myself that until I am done. Using the Nike+ app also motivates me to keep going since I like getting an accurate assessment of my run and I won’t if I mix my running with my walking.

Here’s sort of how my inner monologue went:

  • Whoa! The wind… this is different… it’s fine though, it smells great, all this nature, I can do this. (Natasha Bedingfield’s Unwritten is playing). I sing along, The rest is still unwritten. This run is in the bag.
  • Mile 1: That was not easy. 1/3 done, 2/3 to go. I got this. Don’t forget to breathe. Hey! Cute guy coming your way, avoid eye-contact. I’m feeling it, maybe I can walk a little… NO! don’t walk, just try to keep going for a little longer, mile post is visible, just run there. (Florence & The Machine’s Dog Days are Over is playing) The music takes over, “…So you better run. Run fast for your mother, run fast for your father. Run for your children, for your sisters and brothers. Leave all your loving, your loving behind. You cant carry it with you if you want to survive.” This song is getting me through, for realz.
  • 1.55 Miles: Nike+ tells me that I have reached the halfway mark. Whew! It’s all downhill from here. I can do this. I am tired but I can do this. I’m struggling. (Destiny’s Child Survivor starts playing). Thank you Songza. This is the song I needed.
  • Mile 2: 2/3 done, 1/3 to go. Final Push. Just keep pushing.
  • Mile 2.9: Nike+ tells me that my goal is in view. It really isn’t but I know that it’s close. One final push. I’m on song 11. This has to be the last song. Live like we’re dying by Kris Allen. It’s appropriate.
  • Mile 3.11: HOLY CRAP! I made it. I wish I could jump but my legs feel like they are about to cramp. They don’t. I walk a little, drink water, pour water over my face and head and post an update on instagram.

I walked to my car, did a quick stretch and drove back home. In the car I felt great, tired, but great! So happy to have been able to finish. I ain’t gonna lie; I almost cried.

When I got home, as if the universe had conspired to congratulate me (I know it didn’t), my Klout perk from Vibram FiveFingers shoes had arrived. They fit great and I’ll be taking them back to the park tomorrow for a tryout walk/run. No apps, no pressure. Just me, my new shoes, and the river. Should be fun. I also got a free entry to Warrior Dash so I signed up for it. It will be in June of next year and I ordered a size S t-shirt. Hopefully it will fit by then.

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The moral of the story is that you never know what you’re capable of until you go out there and do it and the only person holding you back is you. So my advice to you is this: if there is anything you’ve been wanting to do but haven’t (and as long as it’s within the limits of the law and/or reasonable) go ahead and do it! We only live once, make it a good one.

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