I had what you might call a bout of insomnia this morning. It’s probably not fair to call it insomnia since it started at 5am. But come on. It’s Sunday. On a three day weekend. I should be sleeping in till at least 10:30 like a normal 20-something, right? My body was not having it though. Naturally, I tweeted about it. You know, like people used to do in the 90s when they wanted to broadcast something nobody else actually cared about.
My friend Logan replied and said “No. Just get up and go running.” I scowled, knowing he was right. To be honest, the idea of sitting in bed waiting for sleep to come repulsed me. Eventually I would have probably dozed off and fallen asleep for 20 minutes or so, then I would have spent the rest of the day in a sloth-like state. So I updated my ipod shuffle with a Hood Internet mixtape and went on my way.
I normally only jog about a mile, but I decided to combine two of my normal routes, making it a 3-mile loop. I’ve been thinking of training for a 5k. But just that – thinking about it. Right now it seems like a sort of nice thing to imagine myself doing. “Yeah,” I think. “That would be really cool to be the sort of person who runs 5ks.” I realize that 5ks are not very impressive. Especially when there are people who run marathons. Or do triathlons. A measly 3.1 miles seems like nothing.
The hardest part is the mental block. I don’t know how people have the willpower to run 24 miles.
I’ve tried several things:
- Reminding myself that if I run faster, it’ll be over sooner. Yeah, I don’t care so much when it’s done. In that moment, I hate running and I don’t care if I have to crabwalk home, I just want to stop moving my limbs like that.
- Imagining fitting into that silk origami dress that’s been sitting in my closet since 2009. I wore it to a wedding once and haven’t touch it since then. In that moment, I don’t care about the dress. It’s not that cute anyway and I’m okay with wearing non-constricting yoga pants until I cross into muumuu territory.
- Reminding myself that nobody likes a fat girl in skinny jeans. In that moment, I vow to wear bootleg or wide-leg jeans, ignoring the redundancy of the latter. Any flowy tops that necessitate skinny jeans will be donated to make room for muumuus.
- Remembering what I look like naked and how I don’t want anybody to see it. In that moment, my lack of physical intimacy ceases to be a problem and I’m suddenly thrilled that I won’t be having sex for the foreseeable future. Also, muumuus.
Today, I was able to push through it by paying attention to the beat of my music (it was just in time with my pace) , but towards the end I felt like I was going to hurl, so I ended up walking for about a block to recover. It doesn’t matter if I run one or five miles, once I get back to my apartment and I finish stretching, I look in the mirror and know I could have done more. In that moment, I’m tempted to go back outside and run another mile.
Normally when I jog, I pass a few other people working on their fitness. The only creatures I encountered this morning was a flock of geese, and I was glad to find that they weren’t as violent as the ones who used to chase me through the park in Oshkosh. It made the morning seem like a sort of a sort of blessing, which made my run feel like a meditation (done to mashups of hiphop and indie songs). I knew I wouldn’t regret getting out of bed, but the quietness of my neighborhood at 6:30 was as much a reward as anything else. I cooled down with a little yoga in my sunny living room before having breakfast and coffee on my patio.
I love my sleep as much as anybody else, but this was a great way to start my day. However, I won’t be surprised if my bed calls me for a nap this afternoon.
5 thoughts on “Sunday Morning Jog”
AWESOME-NESS! Great post. Running is NOT for everyone. I ran 3 marathons — the last one being in 2005 and it’s so hard for me to think about running long distance ever again because I just don’t have the endurance for it anymore. But I still run 5 days a week and I’ve learned to be okay with it.
The great thing about running though, is that it really is about your own personal best. You’re not competing with anyone else. It’s NOT a team sport, it’s a YOU sport. So, if you’re attempting to run a 5K (3.2 miles) and you get through that brilliantly, then YOU win! And if you don’t and have to walk a bit, YOU STILL WIN! And then you try again whenever you want! That’s how I looked at it.
At the time I trained for the first marathon (which for the record, is not 24 miles but 26.2 miles and trust me, it matters!) I was also hanging around a bunch of elite tri-athletes! Goodness, goodness! It was invigorating and inspiring, but it also bummed me out. I would never be as fast or as brilliant as even the worst of them, but when one of them told me the trick — that I’m only competing with myself, it changed my whole perspective. And I love being able to say, I’ve a run three marathons. Once you do it, it’s yours forever — but it all started out with running a mile or two on a Sunday early morning, and then running a few 5K’s, then 10K’s..all when I was ready and at my own pace.
If you want to do it, YOU SO CAN! And if you don’t cause it’s not your thing, that’s totally brilliant too!
Great fun post! Happy Running! Happy Sleeping!
That is such a good way to think of it! I’ve never been interested in or involved in team sports – I’m pretty sure my nature as an introvert prevents that – so the idea of just competing against myself is great! Thanks for the tip!
I recently stopped running because of a broken toe-it really takes forever to heal! And now that I’m seeing my body change already and my energy lag, I can’t wait to get back to running. Once you get in the habit and you see the results, it’s easy to make yourself do it. Also, it feels good when you do 5ks and you set a goal for yourself, then beat that goal. I don’t even care at this point how I compare to other runners. Anyway, keep it up, you’ll be glad you did!
Broken toe? Ouch. I know how much those can hurt, I can’t imagine running on one.
I’ve been running (re:jogging) for the last few months on and off, and I love how it feels when I do it regularly. Sometimes I’ll take a day off because of the weather or something, but that inevitably snowballs into two or three days, and before I know it, it’s been a week since I’ve ran. I’m trying to develop a program that works for me. I remeasured my distance today and found that I’m only running about 2.3 miles. Not a terrible distance, but I’d still like to up it and get to a point where I can run the *entire* time, since now I sometimes take a break to walk for a tenth of a mile or so to recover.
Anyway, I’m planning on doing a run called the Santa Scamper in November. It’s just a mile-long run done before the holiday parade. It’s not anything huge, but it’ll be fun. I’ll do the 5k in the spring.
That’s a good idea to start off with a mile. I kind of built up gradually from a mile to three miles, so that kept me from burning out. I hope you keep it up, because I know how healthy and energetic I felt when I ran regularly. But yeah, until the toe heals, it’s the elliptical only.