Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Goals & (Positive) Reinforcement

What's more happy than this cute little dog running across a field??
The other day I took a running class at my absolute FAVORITE place, KC Endurance. Since the weather was pretty cold and it was the last class of the day, I was the only one there (well, besides the instructor)! Class went well, and I got to chat with her a little after too. I told her about how my love of running slowly has gone downhill, and not in a good way.

A little background on my running: In the beginning I had something like a 14 minute mile. I was slower than a herd of turtles stampeding through peanut butter, but I was SO happy and encouraged. Every time I got to go run was a time that I could smile big and forget about all of the stressors of my new post-college life, brush that dirt right off my shoulder and go. I even made a wonderful friend who ran my first half marathon with me, and I was so very thankful (and still am) to have that friendship. A year later, enter a new, one-upping, overly competitive friend who had to have what I had, plus some. That slowly wears away at anyone, especially when it isn't especially overt at the time. The next year, in an attempt to propel my post-college career forward and get some better experience,  I moved to a new city I wasn't jazzed about and took a job in what turned out to be a highly toxic culture. Sometimes even running can't de-stress me THAT much, lol! Now, with learning what a real winter is and having had some not too positive comments lately, I'm losing my love of what once saved me from everything. I'm extra hard on myself too, and that kind of self negativity will NEVER garner a positive response, amirite??

After hearing my issue, my instructor gave me some of the BEST advice. She told me to go easier on myself, and just have fun with it, no matter what minute mile I'm currently at. She suggested that I go for outdoor runs without my watch. No phone, no watch, just go run and take everything in, and this blew my mind. It's not like I've never heard of that before, but so much emphasis in the running world if placed on data and metrics that I never see anything remotely to the essence of, "Today, I went running. I don't know my exact mileage, elevation, heartrate or mile time, but I had FUN!". Well, when it's warm enough for this ex-Texan to go run outside, I'll be doing exactly that. No only will I be doing that, but I won't be giving myself a hard time for not being good enough. It's going to be tough, but I'm wiling to take it on. Until then, I'll be running on the Woodway tonight! ❤❤

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