Friday, October 4, 2013

40 Days to Better: Day 33

Since I started running marathons, running has become a very analytic activity.  What is my split at each 400 on the track?  What is my time per mile?  Am I too fast?  If I run too slowly can I make it up later?  Should I go a lot faster on the downhill or hold back?  How can I manage to keep anything close to my usual pace uphill?  So many questions.  Seeking so many answers.  And spending so much mental energy trying to find them that I often waste not only mental energy and concentration on the goal of finishing in the quickest time possible (while I worry about the most consistent time possible instead) but also physical energy.  And when I waste concentration and physical energy, I end up running times slower than I hope for.  I have commented numerous times in different settings about running with my head rather than just with my heart.  Running with a plan is not a bad idea.  But spending too much time and effort obsessing about the plan never got me a better time.  

So, today's lesson was about running with my heart rather than with my head.  This morning, I woke up after 4:30 and had to do dishes.  I anticipated being able to get out to run regardless--and hopefully got for five miles.  In the end, I ended up doing just a 2.6 mile run.  Nothing wrong with that.  A ran a ninth day in a row.  It is there, that I begin the thinking about running with my heart rather than my head.

And, so, we have another poem...

If I Had Run With My Head
If I had run with my head
Rather than with my heart
Things would have been different this morning.
My head would have looked at the analytic side.
My head would have said, "You've run eight straight days
Before today.
What would Coach Marie say?"
And I would have thought to myself about how Coach Marie
Taught me
And others in the Charm City Run training group
About the need
For rest.
My head would have looked at the analytic side.
My head would have said, "It is only nine days till race morning.
What kind of taper are you doing?
You are avoiding tempo, but that
Is nothing new.
But why are you running so much?
You won't increase speed.
You won't increase endurance.
Just ease up."
These things I have heard many times.
My head would have looked at the analytic side.
My head would have stopped part way through the systems check
Before the run.
Heart--ready to pump it up.
GI--not feeling so good. 
In knots for reasons I can't figure out.
My head would have said, "Why run?
When the body feels this way?
On top of all the other things."

My head would have looked at the analytic side.
My head would have said, "Isn't three strikes enough
To be out?"
But I am learning not to run with my head.

I feel much better.
I am learning to run 
With my heart and legs.
Two's company--and three's a crowd.
So the head gets left out.
And when I listen to my legs and heart.
The legs are always ready.
The heart whispers just two words,
That is why I run.
Build confidence--to complete things.
Build confidence--to work through things.
Build confidence--to keep going.
Build confidence--in those around me.
Build confidence--in myself.
Trust myself.
Trust my heart.
And no more words need to be said.
It was clearly time to run.

What I need is to take the attitude expressed at the end.  The attitude of working toward a goal.  The attitude of having confidence in myself and others. The attitude of trusting my heart.  And take that into the rest of my life.  On the road to better. 

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