Today I woke up after a much needed 9 hour sleep to discover that the mild storm which had been causing dark clouds, rain and strong winds had lifted. The sky was a bright blue, marked with the occasional cloud and the sun was shining brightly through my window. The afternoon had already begun and I, despite the beautiful day outside, awoke with a foul mood.
There were many reasons why my mood got worse and worse throughout the period of the day, but none of those are appropriate for here and none of them are proper excuses anyways. After searching over half an hour for my earbuds (which I still could not find) I eventually got out to do my run. The solution? Putting my iPhone in my pocket and listening to the music through the speakers. Surprisingly it worked well and I actually enjoyed being able to hear the sounds around me in addition to the music, and I think I will be doing it more often. (And no earbud sweat! You runners know what I am talking about!)
As anger consumed my day, I detested the thought of going for a run. I wanted instead to join a kickboxing class, to work out extremely hard, sweat excessively and channel my frustrations into something else. But that run was exactly what I needed. I went into it with zero expectations, knowing that my foul mood could result in poor performance out in the bush. But I was wrong, so wrong. With the hard rocking sounds of The Offspring giving me both determination and fuelling my mood, I set off into the bush by my house for what would become one of my best runs yet.
This post is meant only to serve as a mere update to my progress as a runner. As usual, I pondered my life and thoughts and although I’ve been working on a piece about motivation, all I could think about was my anger and why I was letting myself feel that way for the dramatic shortcomings of my ridiculous life. The very fact that I was angry just made me even more mad at myself.
As my run continued on, I didn’t check my time consistently, I didn’t feel the need to slow my pace. I didn’t feel tired, overdone or short of breath. I didn’t focus on where I was going or how long I was going to be out there for. I simply just ran, and ran, and ran. I went down windy trails and followed the most difficult routes I have ever tried. Difficult not because it had many hills, (in fact there were virtually none) but difficult because it was a BMX trail full of logs, stumps, roots, mini bridges, mud puddles and the like.
The run itself was full of many ups and downs. At first I felt great, and then at times I began to get angry again as my thoughts continued in a different direction. There was a time where I was following a particularly difficult trail for quite a while and came to a dead end and had to turn around and go through it all over again. Another time, I ran along some intense mud, trying to dodge it as best I could but it covered a fair distance and I ended up being covered in mud. (And yes, I’m STILL wearing my Saucony INDOOR gym shoes for my runs. I can’t afford to buy proper outdoor footwear and well, I really love these runners. Or did. They might be ruined now).
I ended up running for a full 30 minutes, something that I haven’t been able to do for quite a while. The only break I took was a quick one to talk briefly with someone I saw on the trail in the midst of a huge patch of mud, (roughly 30 seconds) and another one near the end while I was waiting to cross a road (still walking down the side, again, only about 30-45 seconds). I begin my runs, as always, with a five minute brisk walk uphill and ended it with a 5 minute brisk walk back to my house. I didn’t feel too tired, and I would have kept going if there was more trail and I had had more time.
I came to some interesting revelations during my time outside today that I cannot wait to share. Unfortunately, there just isn’t the time tonight and I still need to ponder some of those thoughts a little bit further. For now, here is a reminder to stay motivated, don’t make excuses and do not be afraid to allow your emotions to guide you along your runs! You may be surprised at how useful a little bit of anger can be for a good work out!