Eliminating obstacles and revisiting intentions

This morning I woke up later than usual. I was sleeping off a slight head cold that started coming on a few days ago. I ignored the sniffles and went for a 6 mile run on Friday night. Yesterday we went to the aquarium and Ikea–it was a busy day, and I wore my 26-pound daughter for most of it. I peaked through the window this morning at the icy sidewalk, and even though it was sparking in the sunshine, I really didn’t want to leave my warm house. I wanted to drink coffee, stay in my pajamas, and claim sick day.

Something nagged me to put on my running tights. Something nagged me to braid my hair and drink an extra glass of water. Before I knew it, I somehow ended up on the cold sidewalk running away from the house. Now that I am home from an 8 mile run, I not only feel accomplished, I also feel as though I never had a cold in the first place. I have a new lease on my day.

Originally I was going to drive out to a trail system about 10 miles away and then go for an 8 mile trail run today. I woke up with diminished motivation. Taking a page out of Zen and the Art of Running, I took a step back and looked at the obstacles. What was the resistance about? I was making it about the cold weather, the fact that my nose was running, and my lack of desire to drive out of town to go for a run. I couldn’t change the cold weather, but I could change how I felt about it. I recognized that I usually do my runs in the dark, by virtue of the shortened daylight this time of year, and that I had an opportunity to run in the sunshine. A rare opportunity! I also remembered that running has proven to shorten the length of my colds dramatically, and that I would rather complete my run today than spend extra days not being able to run later this week because I let the germs win. Driving out of town? This was an external obstacle. I realized I could just… not drive. And run 8 miles around town without touching a steering wheel.

The intention today was not to run 8 miles. That was the goal. The intention was to remain honest with myself. Honesty and mindfulness are not automatic–they require attention!

Friday night I ran 6 miles and took my hydration belt along with me for the first time. I had no issue running with it, and it was nice to be able to drink some water regularly throughout the route. Today I wore it again, and I was even more comfortable with it. I also ate a gel about five miles in. The consistency made me gag a bit, I’ll admit, but the flavor wasn’t bad. It was a Cliff lemon/lime flavored one. I don’t know if these things will ever be palatable… the texture is just, totally gross. However, I definitely felt the added energy and felt good the next three miles.


What I lacked in initial enthusiasm, I made up for in neon colors.

I’ll end on a positive note. The Whidbey Island Half is 3 months away. I am a much better runner now than I was a month before the Seattle Half. It is awesome to feel the progress!

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