So What? I Still Ran

Today’s run felt harder than it should have.

As I was distracting myself from thinking about how it was just a meh run, I thought about how so much of running is truly brain training.

Yes we have to train the physical body but if you don’t train the mind, the physical body gives up long before it needs to.

This is what I Run This Body means to me. It’s about listening to the body but also training the mind to know when to just take over and keep going.

I’ve been blogging for 10 years…when I go back and read some of my old race recaps I am struck with how dramatic every mile seemed to feel. These days the miles flow in and out of my head.

If you asked me to write a mile by mile recap of this years Boston Marathon I couldn’t. I couldn’t write a mile by mile recap of Reston Marathon or even Abbott World Marathon Majors Tokyo Marathon even though both of those races deeply meant something to me. I’m not even sure if I went back and looked at the photos I took during Boston I’d be able to tell you with any sort of detail how I felt in each mile. This isn’t by accident….

I think for so long I was writing the story of each race in my head as I ran rather than letting the race play out. If I felt terrible for a mile, I’d jump to writing another story – the story of not hitting my goal – or the story of triumph over feeling bad. Who feels good every mile of 26.2 miles? Not me. There are highs and there are lows and I’ve learned that if you don’t focus on the lows and just let them flow through you – it’s easier to make your way out of them. Does this make sense? Don’t write your story before you have lived the chapters.

I don’t wallow in my dramatic thoughts. I no longer write stories in my head during races and because of that, I can’t remember the miles the way I was able to in the past. I love this. There is a freedom in “just” running, in not complicating things, in not focusing so much on “how we feel.” Feelings shift and change and our minds can lie to us.

I didn’t feel great on today’s run. So what? I still ran.

W & OD Trail - Dry Mill Road Crossing

3 comments

  1. I’m glad I’m not the only one!
    How do people write such detailed accounts of each mile? There are entire sections of the 2019 Boston Marathon that I don’t have much recollection of. I was there. I was running. It probably hurt.
    I do try to stay in the moment and enjoy the run. But then I do things like count runners or replay snippets of songs in my head over and over to distract myself from the moment.

  2. Love this! Funny how sometimes we over think the simplest thing. One reason why I love running so much because it’s easy.. no thought in what to do besides keep moving forward 😊

  3. Hell yes! I’m all about the feels. Without fail, my best runs are the ones where my active mind switches off and I just go. The worst ones are always when I’m up in my head the whole time. It’s a really meditative activity, running.

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