Breaking the Cycle

This Sunday I took my new-found confidence and my happy knees on a long run and surprised even myself!

I know from my extensive background in anxiety that once I get anxious about a particular situation, I need space from it to break the cycle. I’m sure there’s some psychological principle behind this, but all I know is that it works for me. So I decided to approach this long run in a new way:

  • Rather than have the hubby drop me off 10 miles from home and running back, I would run around my town. I usually hate long runs that take me around the same loops over and over again, but recent runs in the area had my confidence pretty high on my home turf, so I went with it.
  • I ditched the bulky hydration vest. In my last few runs with it, I leaned too heavily on it: I got distracted by fussing with the cords, drinking more than I needed to, etc. And since I planned on running near convenience stores and public bathrooms, I stuck with my little fanny pack and some change.

photo 1

Baby Got Pack

So after fueling up with a Raspberry White Chocolate Quest Bar (HELLO, new favorite flavor!) I set out on my normal 2-3 mile route that would take me into the park where I planned on just running 1 mile laps around the football fields and along the water. Anything past 7 miles would be a win, and 10 miles would be the ultimate.

Mile 1 was the usual struggle, but soon I fell into a rhythm by mile 2, and by mile 3, I was jammin. Mostly because I was listening to my new favorite running song: this track by Kendrick Lamar. It’s got the perfect beat to push me up tough hills while maintaining a respectable pace, and I also get to showcase my fantastic runner’s swagger when I lip-sync to the more filthy verses.

So mile 3 & 4 saw me coasting down Broadway and into my waterfront park, weaving around the usual walkers and bikers and kids and dogs, and mostly just loving the fact that it was about 70 degrees and perfectly gorgeous.

photo 3You think I’m kidding?

After a lap, I stopped at mile 5.5 to stretch and refuel with gummy bears & almonds. photo 2I had to laugh – the folks that passed me were completely perplexed (“She’s running and eating??”) but it didn’t matter – I’m a professional (idiot) after all. I took off again after some water and mild stretching, and before I knew it I was at 7.2something. I wasn’t even feeling it! I coasted around for another mile or so, and started to feel the fatigue in my ankles and calves at around 8.5.

I stopped for some heavy stretching and set out for the last mile, when this song came on. That’s when I shut down the part of my brain that focused on running and lost myself in some daydreams. I traveled to the Riviera Maya with Trent Reznor for some pretty NSFW action, and at one point I actually made myself giggle and blush while I was running! I was giddy –  and frankly, probably a little dehydrated too – but as I glanced at my watch and realized I could get in 10 miles under 2:10, I gunned it.

And it worked!

photoBarely – but I’ll take it!

When I stopped, both calves wanted to cramp up and freeze, but I stretched for a good 15 minutes in the park before calling my husband to come pick me up for a triumphant ride back home (and a big sushi lunch).

photo

that’s what I call a victory lap

And that’s the story of how I broke my bad long run cycle – with Kendrick Lamar, Disclosure, gummy bears, and Trent Reznor. 🙂

10 thoughts on “Breaking the Cycle

  1. Pingback: Look Out, Weird Al | Jess Runs Happy

    • hahah I thought of this comment while sucking down a Gu on my 10 miler this weekend, lol – the people around me at the park were like “Why is this girl sucking on a little foil packet while running??” lol runners are a wacky bunch, aren’t we? 😉

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