Tuesday, February 7, 2012


A lot of times solely getting out of the house to run shifts my head into over drive. A million thoughts are running through this old brain at an equally impressive million miles an hour. I swear it's fueled by some crack head that takes residence in my head when it senses open roads ahead. Inclusive in these thoughts, accompanied by a serious adrenaline rush, is the screaming and cheerleading, "HERE WE GO. OOOOWWOOOOOWWWWWW. ALL. NIGHT. LONG. YOU GOT THIS, BABY GIRL." Seriously, those are the words I hear.

When I first started hearing these words, it would light a little fire under me and get my feet a movin. Welcome, morning run! We're off. And in that instance, I felt like I could run FOREVER. Literally. I couldn't imagine ever having the desire........to stop running. I would start envisioning this impressively, long run and how I'd have to apologetically call Yosh and ask him to come pick me up from the airport or Compton or Inglewood or some other crazy place I ended up at {instead of home}, because I was just feeling it. And you know how it goes, if you're feeling it, you just gotta go with it. I imagined how I'd have to reshuffle my kids' schedules that day because, "Sorry, mommy felt like running....forever. Must accommodate, no football game today. SORRY." I just can't quite explain the confidence that came from this cocktail of adrenaline and cheerleading.

Unfortunately......it was false confidence. It didn't take long before I'd be huffing and puffing and surrendering to the fact that "ALL. NIGHT. LONG." really meant 8 minutes. And instead of plotting my explanation to the family for running ALL day long, I was plotting my explanation for showing up only 10 minutes after I left. Because I had already used all my fuel. And just as an fyi, burning all your fuel in the first 8 minutes makes for a REALLY long 45 minute run. Or 30 minute run. Or 20 minute run. Running on fumes for any amount of time is exhausting and miserable. But.....that crack head was sooooo convincing. And contagious. Like a junky, I needed to follow it. And every time I did, I paid for it.

I was thinking about this yesterday as I had just hopped on the treadmill. As always, my thoughts exponentially increased in both quantity and speed. I felt the preliminary adrenaline that came with the impulse to take off, fueled by that crack head screaming, "HERE WE GO. OOOOWWOOOOOWWWWWW. ALL. NIGHT. LONG. YOU GOT THIS, BABY GIRL." I soaked that excitement up for a minute before reminding myself, "Gay, you've been running for a total of 1minute. You have a long run ahead of you. SIMMER and BREATHE." I inhaled deep, and rather than focusing on anything about running, I first concentrated on slowing my mind down, finding my real all night long pace. First mentally. And then physically. I've learned to control that urge with a simple......."Not yet."

This urge shows up at pretty predictable times in my life. Like when we go on a tropical vacation. I step off the plane and within 10 minutes I've deemed one of two things: that we should move there or that we should commit {in writing and all} to come back every year. Just like that.

Or when I see a shirt or shoes or necklace or purse....and I must have it right here right now no matter the cost and no matter that I have 10 more just like it. {Of course THIS isn't a result of listening to that voice or anything......}

This voice isn't a bad thing. To the contrary, it's welcomed and anticipated and celebrated. I think the art is mastering when to merely listen to it versus when to act on it.

I'm learning to just listen when I'm in a situation where I don't have my grounding {ie: very beginning of a run, visitor to a new place, newly in love with someone/something}; I'm learning to detach the drunken words from the exhilarated feeling. And instead of acting on the words, I'm simply trying to celebrate the feeling, live in the moment that I'm feeling and experiencing life at such a heightened level. I can feel the "HERE WE GO. OOOOWWOOOOOWWWWWW. ALL. NIGHT. LONG. YOU GOT THIS, BABY GIRL" without taking off in a dead sprint. I often get confused thinking I can only  good if I act on those words. But that's not true.

I'm learning to act on that excitement after I've done the foot work and have planted myself in a pretty stable position; I'm learning to give time for nerves to relax, feelings to plateau, and emotions to settle so that my sharp mind can have a chance for input. And after I've done that and practiced a little self-control, when that voice comes....BOOM TIME,  I lap it up! {ie: when we found "the" apartment in LA, when I decided to marry Yosh, when I put Porter in kindergarten} That voice is amazing.

And almost without fail on my runs, you know what happens?........"HERE WE GO. OOOOWWOOOOOWWWWWW. ALL. NIGHT. LONG. YOU GOT THIS, BABY GIRL." It's back. {Usually at the 30 minute mark!} And I've been waiting for it. And I welcome it because now the timing is right and the words accompanying the adrenaline/excitement are legit.  I'm warmed up and physically ready to take part of it's contagious energy- the legit energy that now has permission to leave my head and go to my heart and flow through my blood, inducing the runner's high.  Ahhhh, the moments I live for when running!

All this- this is where my million thoughts were directed on my run yesterday. How in running and life it's all the same, learning to most effectively use the tools we've all been given- our heads, hearts, and bodies; to find the balance to gain optimal performance and achieve optimal happiness. Life is good. Just keep running ALL. NIGHT. LONG. Hahaha!

{and just because a pic of the lady is always appropriate....}


  1. Running and life. I keep wondering when the parallels will stop? We've learned a lot of lessons out there putting miles on the street!

  2. Me again. Partially inspired by this post and partially because the wind finally died down and all my kids were at school - I went out and hit the streets for a tough run. While running I had these two thoughts: 1. I also call myself BABY GIRL while I'm running. 2. Why does it always take 30 minutes to get to 30 minutes?

  3. Thanks for sharing your amazing insights. Makes me wish I was more of a runner!!


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