One of the hardest parts of running was going out solo. I loved BRG for the camaraderie, chatter, and support. Being a bit competitive, I also needed to know that I would keep up with the others. Knowing that we were going to do our first fifteen-minute interval as a group made me make sure I was ready to do it in with the group. When I am in weight training classes, I have to be able to use heavier weights. (I know that no one else cares; this is totally a me issue.)
Running on my own each Saturday was a mental challenge. When I first ventured out, I would run around the blocks near my house, creating an escape plan if I tired or wimped out and needed to head home. Within a few weeks, I was making myself commit to a three-mile loop. First starting out, it was hard to be alone with my thoughts:
“What made you think you were a runner?”
“Can you feel your belly jiggling when you run? Why bother doing this?”
“You’ve tried to be a runner in the past and failed. What makes this time different?”
Once I got going, I was okay and managed to find a more positive thought process.
“I’m going to do a full three miles, even if I need to go past the entrance and backtrack before I leave.”
“I’m going to do three miles in 38 minutes.”
At some point during my run, I think something out of my mind: “I should train for a half marathon. You could totally do it!”
There are two things that help me change my negative thoughts while running: cheesy music and Pokemon Go. Yes, I did mean to write that. I consider myself a bit of a music snob; Mike jokes that I only like bands that no one else knows. I wouldn’t call myself an expert, but I can definitely hold my own in a conversation about most music genres. When I am running lately, I usually listen to one of the following:
Cheesy 90’s pop music (think Brittney, NSYNC, and the Backstreet Boys)
Obscene 90’s gangsta rap
They get me through my runs. The heart wants what the heart runs. Hamilton gets into the mix a lot, but I’ve been listening to it for so long now that I need new tunes. Hamilton is still my go-to for motivation. As I run down a busy street listening to my cheesy pop music, I pay even closer attention to others around me, fearful that I will be hit by car listening to “Backstreet’s Back,” revealing my secret to the outside world.
Pokemon Go? Ugh, this one is embarrassing. We take a lot of walks as a family. When Outtie was with us, we took two twenty minute walks daily. We go hiking and do a fair amount of Geo-caching. When I finally gave in to the Pokemon Go craze, Mike and I instantly became competitive. Playing while running provides a distraction. I can hatch an egg and try to catch new Pokemon. I am embarrassed admitting that the game gets me through runs, but it totally does.
BGR often reminds us, “If you run, you are a runner.” I guess I can add, “Even if you do embarrassing things while running, you are a runner.”