It’s Not About the Running

Last week I completed the “Couch to 5K” (plan outlined here, but I used this app). Also known as #c25k.

While I couldn’t run 30 minutes – IN A ROW – when I started eight weeks earlier, it occurred to me on my last run that it wasn’t about the running. It wasn’t about whether my body could take it, or my legs would remain strong. It was completely a mindset shift.

So what does it take to run 30 minutes, besides a little physical build-up? Three things can get you through a 30-minute run.

Mind Over Matter

That’s right. It’s not a leg thing. It’s a brain thing. Roughly 10 to 15 minutes in, I have that thought … I could just walk the rest. It’s such a nice day. I’m sure I’d enjoy this lovely weather if I were going at a slower pace. After all, walking is good for you too.

And that’s when I had to shut myself down. Carrie, you can do this. You know your body can take it. You’ve got this!

I needed my mind to be stronger.

Focus on the Result

I’m pretty sure no one really loves running. As far as I can tell, the thing runners love is the feeling after the run. A little endorphin rush, a feeling of accomplishment. The continued burning of calories through the next few hours. Maybe a little bragging about your distance or your speed.

I, for one, did not enjoy the act of running. However, I could endure it 30 minutes, knowing that I’d get that accomplished glowing feeling afterward.

A Little Accountability

A little accountability goes a long way. An announcement on Facebook that I was starting… how could I let it drop? How could I let my social network see me as a failure? And best of all, my friends were encouraging me, rooting for me! Everyone loves a cheerleader, right?

So… am I running today? Not as much. Now that I know I can do it, I do it when I want to do it. Sadly, it’s dark at the time I need to run, and I’ve been struggling to make that happen. (I live in a safe neighborhood but why risk it?) As soon as I work out the mechanics of how to get an early workout in outside, I will be back at it!


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