The Runner’s Mind Body Relationship

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Young Woman Working OutI have never had the best mind-body relationship.  From exercise to orgasm, I could never quite understand what my body was trying to tell me.  TMI?  …maybe.  But, I have your attention now, right?

My Nagging Mind

As I ran this week’s 4 mile mid-week training run, I didn’t turn on my mp3 player until a mile into the run.  It wasn’t until my headphones became tangled and began to tug in my ears that I realized nothing was playing.  Normally I need the distraction.  But, this day was different.  Rather than fretting over how far I had to go or how hard it was to keep putting one foot in front of the other, I was busy enjoying the beautiful spring weather and the feel of my feet carrying me deeper and deeper into my run.

I had felt this way once before when I was training for a previous race.  I remembered a time when my mind would wander through the various mysteries of life.  My curiosities would be met with such clarity, like I was solving the world’s problems …one run at a time.  Well, my world’s problems anyway.

For some reason, this time around every step has felt forced and excruciating.  These moments of serenity have escaped me entirely since I re-started my training about a month ago.  But, I had made it my mantra to “run anyway”.  And now I’m glad I did.

My Moment of Freedom

Once I noticed how much I was enjoying myself, I couldn’t help but wonder… why?  What makes this run different from the previous 4 weeks of training?

It seems that I finally re-developed my mind-body relationship.  At some point my mind realized that my body was going to run anyway, so it may as well trust it to continue training without the need for constant nagging.  It is a moment of freedom when you begin to trust that your body will carry you the distance.  To listen (and understand) what your body is communicating is a wonderful experience.  To boot?…  this was my best time yet!

21 Days

Then it hit me…  they say – it takes 21 days to form a habit.  And well, I have been at this half-marathon training a little over 30 days.  Could my running finally be habitual?  AMEN! Now, habitual isn’t to be confused with easy.  I still struggle and running is still difficult.  Even at my most celestial moments I have to put in a lot of effort.  But, that is why it is so gratifying.  Running has actually enabled me to believe in myself.  What a gift!

I want to encourage you to make exercise one of your habits.  Try something for 30 days – ANYTHING!  Try walking, biking, dancing…  or get crazy and go for a run.

Adopt the mantra, ______ anyway.  (You fill in the blank!)  Commit to completing your exercise no matter how you feel. After 21 days, you will be rewarded.

 

Here are a couple articles from our experts that inspired me to run anyway:

How to Psyche Yourself Up, Not Out
Mental Preparation for a Half Marathon

How has running improved your mind body relationship?

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