A Little More Each Day

One working mama learning to run & to maintain my 100+ pound weight loss!

Reframing your thoughts on a tough run

on August 11, 2014

Last week, I don’t think I had a single run that felt fun or easy. That was especially true on Saturday, with 8 miles on the training schedule and a grey humid day awaiting me. Finally, even O told me “Mommy, go run” and so I headed out. After a week of bad workouts, I wasn’t expecting it to feel good or easy and I was right – it didn’t. It was miserably humid and I was dripping within minutes. Before the first mile was over, I felt hot and worn out and dreading the 7 miles still ahead of me. It is so easy to get caught up in that cycle of negative thoughts, but honestly those thoughts just make an already hard hour even harder. Every time those defeated, miserable thoughts came into my head, I tried to mentally redirect myself to a positive frame of mind.

No matter how hard it might feel for me today, it was harder for her to start running two years ago:

August 2012

August 2012

I reminded myself that she got out there with almost a hundred more pounds on her knees and ran in this hot muggy weather in August 2012. She got out there and ran when 2 miles was a long run, not the 8 miles I was tackling. She decided that she could make the leap to sign up for a half marathon in August 2013 when her longest run was 4 miles and that was at a 15 minute mile pace. If she could do all of that, I could definitely run 8 sweaty miles that humid Saturday morning.

Not kidding about the weather or the sweaty miles - yikes!

Not kidding about the weather or the sweaty miles – yikes!

After all, even if those 8 miles were going to be slower than I’d like, I knew I could do the 8 miles. At this point in my running career, I have zero doubt that I can finish an 8 mile run. And “slower than I’d like” meant they might be 12 minute miles, which was blazing fast to the runner I was two years ago. Reminding myself how far I’ve come made me really pretty petty for all the mental whining I was doing.

By mile 4, my stinkin’ thinkin’ was turning around, thanks largely to remembering how far I’ve come and in small part due to the new music I was running with:

Awesome Mix 1 truly is awesome :)

Awesome Mix 1 truly is awesome 🙂

I bought the Guardians of the Galaxy soundtrack while we were sitting in the theater watching the credits roll. Seriously happy music. 🙂 I’ll admit, not all of it is going to stay in the permanent running rotation but there are a few keepers for sure. I seriously startled one of the neighbors when I came around a corner belting out “I-I-I’m hooked on a feeling!” during a particular upbeat (downhill) running segment.

I felt like all of my positive thoughts were totally justified when I got home at less than my target pace (11:30 pace seems great on a humid August day) and I found my little boy’s favorite sticker waiting for me next to the garage door opener, like a little reward for all of my work.

Benjamin is Oliver's favorite of the Friday stickers at school, so we have lots of them.

Benjamin is Oliver’s favorite of the Friday stickers at school, so we have lots of them.

How do you turn around negative thoughts during a workout?



4 responses to “Reframing your thoughts on a tough run

  1. Aww great post! And it’s so so true, it was much harder to start out. I love the soundtrack too. We’ve been listening to it constantly since we bought it!

  2. This post just makes me all kinds of happy :0) 1. Because your perspective on turning bad thoughts around is genius and incredible! It is so hard to take a negative during a run and make is so powerfully positive! Way to go! 2. Because you have the Guardians soundtrack…great movie and great music!!

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