on running, stopping, and starting again

today’s 1.5 mile run marks my third consecutive run. here is what i have learned so far.

1. leave a motivation at home so you don’t give into the temptation to crash on someone’s lawn halfway through. mine is a glass of water left on my porch with mint leaves in it. total refreshment.

2. the greatest motivation to keep running in the moment is when you see another runner. my brain decides that i have to pass them so they don’t sense weakness. or at least keep running so they don’t sense it. because obviously there is a risk of the other runner attacking me when they see me walking

3. that being said, the only person going on this run is me. so if i want to walk, i make myself run to the next invisible goal (more on that in a moment) and then walk.

4. i set invisible goals along the run. “okay, let’s make it to the next recycling bin” or “good, one telephone pole down. let’s get to the red car now”. somehow, it eats up the steps a bit faster.

5. when something hurts, walk. something in the back of my leg went “pop” on my run this morning. i stopped running, walked a bit, stretched it out, and told my phone to stop tracking the run, as i was not about to run with a stabbing muscle pain. injury is so not worth it.

6. treat yo’self, as tom haverford would say. yesterday i took a bubble bath. today i…well, had breakfast. whatever. little treats make me feel special.

7. find a spot to cool down. for me, that is the stump surrounded by mushrooms (my roommate C: “you look very at one with nature”. it was kind of her not to ask if i was having a stroke, as i get all kinds of blotchy when i run.). that stump is just under the large tree-bush-thing in our yard that casts the perfect shade.

8. a good playlist is the best. mine starts out peppy, gets peppier, busts out some beyonce and kelly clarkson to make me feel awesome, and then goes to full-on dance music, which is why i paused for a dance break on my run this morning. COME ON. when michael sings ‘beat it’, you are legally required to dance.