mind over matter

I’ve been trying to go running a bit more lately. Running, jogging, walking – whatever. I’ve started trying to do 9-10km once a week (usually on Saturdays so that I have Sunday to recover before I’m back at work on Monday).

Usually I try to pace myself so I don’t tire out too quickly. If I go too hard too fast, I actually start feeling a bit nauseous. But, not to worry, this passes if I ease up a bit and then gradually pick up the pace again. I reckon I must’ve done ok today in terms of pace – hardly any nausea (if any). Plus, I didn’t really go through the “burning lungs” phase, or that passed pretty quickly. Maybe it was something about the air… not as dry as that other week…

Calves still get pretty sore, though. I’ve been finding that that kicks in around the 8km mark. It’s kind of hard to tell exactly because I’ve just been estimating the distances using good ol’ Google Maps.

I like getting to the stage when I must be so pumped full of adrenaline and endorphins that I can just run flat out even though I know my legs are aching. I think this is around the 9-9.5km mark, when I know I’ve done a decent distance and I’d be happy to stop and go home any time, so I figure I may as well go for broke.

When I go for these runs, I always do interval running – run, walk, run, walk, etc. I think people usually set the intervals based on time, but because I don’t want to bring a watch/timer with me and be constantly pressing stop/start buttons, I base my intervals on distance. The interesting thing that I’ve noticed is that if I push myself to run further than originally planned, I will make the distance.

For example, when I’m running and I feel myself starting to need a bit of a break, I’ll arbitrarily pick a point, like a light-post or a bend in the path, where I can stop running and walk. But before I get there, I’ll revise the choice and pick a point a bit further along (still kind of within reason, though). And 99% of the time I can make it to the new checkpoint no problem – sometimes I’ll revise the selected point again and go even further.

So I suppose the important lesson here is not to underestimate/under-sell yourself because you’re probably capable of more than you realise.

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