I was going to share something food related today, but I guess all of that can wait until tomorrow’s WIAW. Today, my heartstrings are tugging at my typing fingers and telling them to share everything about my recent run, so I’m just going to roll with it and see where it goes.
I only had about a half an hour to complete a workout yesterday. I could have easily skipped it since I was going to get plenty of cardio in during dance practice, but I didn’t want to. I could have popped in a workout DVD or completed one of my already put together at-home workouts, but I didn’t want to do that either. I wanted to run.
Running is an outlet for me and during the freezing winter months in Michigan, I miss the luxury of running comfortably outside to clear my head a few times a week.
So, with a glimpse of the sunshine beaming down onto the snow, I wanted to take advantage of it by getting out there and enjoying the (somewhat) sunny (pretend) warm afternoon outside.
Running Through Challenges
Geared up and ready to set out on a quick stroll around the neighborhood, I put on my Winter Workout Playlist to warm up with a walk.
From my view, the roads looked plowed enough to run without having too many issues, and I was pumped to get out there!
Challenge #1: Scott pulled into the driveway right as I was leaving it. As much as I wanted to take that half hour and spend it with him, I charged forward.
Challenge #2: Knowing I was on a time schedule, I mapped out an exact route in my head to complete about two and a half miles in twenty minutes. About three minutes into my run, I realized the sidewalks and roads were no longer plowed, and definitely not runnable.
I took a chance and ran on the street, dodging ice patches, slush, and the occasional passing car.
Challenge #3: About half way to my half way mark, I found my path was completely blocked by snow.
Part of me wanted to press forward, but I knew my stubbornness wasn’t worth me risking slipping and twisting an ankle since I was also in a hurry. So I turned around.
I was running with the Armour39 performance monitor, so I was already frustrated that I couldn’t track a consistent, normal run. Eventually, I got over it and kept tracking it anyways.
Challenge #4: My music stopped playing at an audible level.
This has happened before, due to the cold temperatures. Apparently my iPhone is also a Florida native who doesn’t always perform it’s best in freezing climates.
Not having music doesn’t seem like a big deal, but I am a person who thrives off of it. I mentioned last week that I literally have music playing at every moment when I am home, unless I am reading or watching television. During any type of workout, I have to have music I am into playing or it totally throws off my kick booty outlook.
I know, I’m super high maintenance about it. Now you see the challenge.
There I was, only about half way done with my allotted time to run and ready to get back home and move on.
I’m not sure why, but at that exact moment I felt like snapping a photo of my awesome “running track”.
Before you think I am overly dramatic about this one twenty minute run, I promise there’s a purpose in sharing it with you. Read on!
For the remaining ten minutes, I finally saw the reality that workouts don’t always go the way we plan. Days don’t always go the way we plan. Jobs and relationships don’t always go the way we plan. Life doesn’t always go the way we plan.
Listening to nothing but slushy crunching from my footsteps, it only took ten minutes to have an entire new perspective about what is going on in my life.
Running In Circles
In a sense, the title of this post is literal. Due to blocked off sidewalks to my “normal” running path, I did turn around and run in circles around my house until my time was up.
In another, the title of this post subtly mirrors what all of us do every day: deal with the viscous cycles of life’s ups and downs.
Without getting too deep in this one post, I’ll simply say that this year has been one of many challenges.
When Scott lost his job three weeks before our wedding day in Orlando, I thought the next year would be the hardest on both of us, as well as our relationship. And it was.
After moving up north, away from family, friends, and everything I knew, this past year and a half has proved to challenge me and us more than ever.
Just like all of you, I have my good days and bad days. But our futures are only ours to change. The only thing you can change about your future it is your perspective. So that’s what I did.
In just ten short minutes, I blocked whatever negativity I am forced to deal with out and just went for it. I appreciated the fresh and freezing air, even though my nose was running uncontrollably. I stopped getting frustrated with snowy sidewalks and used the random snow patches as obstacles I could jump and hurdle over whilst looking like and idiot. I’m pretty sure what neighbors did see me now refer to me as “that crazy runner lady” and I am now proud to hold that title.
And I think the best part of it all was that I didn’t even know how far I ran. It didn’t matter.
Just for fun, I took a look at my Armour39 app stats and saw the following:
(The left screen shot was taken after my final full speed running step and the right two were taken after I was finished with my cool down walk.)
Do you see it? Look at the 11 minute mark. That’s when I turned around and everything changed. That’s when my perspective lightened. That’s when I said a big “screw you” to the challenges and just went for it. I gave it my all and was on a natural high for the rest of the night as a result.
You might be thinking, “it was just a freaking twenty minute run, Heather.” And you’re right. But you’re also wrong. Nothing is just anything. Things are what you make of them. And through this crazy year of ups and downs I have learned that every day is a gift.
When I got home from practice yesterday, Scott and I turned off the television and had actual conversations. We talked about our days and he showed me two videos he stumbled upon earlier.
Got your tissues ready? Okay… I warned you.
• This Is the Most Beautiful Thing You Will Ever See
• Cancer Sufferer Leaves Emotional Final Video to Daughter
Okay, I’m bawling again.
I don’t know if this is all stemming from my run or if it also has to do with a group text that continuously happens between a few friends and I, but I guess my entire purpose of this post is for you to take away two things.
1) You don’t have to keep running in circles. You are the only one who can change your path, and in a sense, your future.
2) You’re not alone. No matter what you are going through, there is someone out there who can relate and knows what that feels like. And things can always get worse. Find your support system and keep them close!
I have a hard time remembering these things myself. So I encourage you (and me) to keep those two points in mind whenever you feel like you might be running in circles just “going through the motions” on a run, at work, in your relationships, and in life. You don’t have to. And you’re missing out on what life could be. What it’s supposed to be.
Well friends, I think I better stop there. Thank you for taking a few minutes to read my running reflections. Maybe now you get why the heck I run so much. Me time. Thinking time. Reflecting time.
I hope you all enjoy the rest of your day with a positive attitude! Because I’m sure we could all use one to bounce off of. See ya tomorrow!
Miranda @ Lovely Wife Lovely Life
Beautiful post! I’m always hard on myself when something changes (or doesn’t go the way I want it to). Sometimes I just have to sit back, relax, and look at the big picture. That usually helps to put things in perspective for me! 🙂
Exactly. I’m definitely guilty of that too!
Great post Heather! Thank you for all the positivity.
LOVE this post, Heather! You are so right, and keeping those things in mind – that things will get better, we learn from experiences, etc. does help. I need reminders, too. For the record, I’m so glad you’re in Michigan, too. Not all the bloggers I follow can appreciate this ridiculous snow and how difficult it is to get your butt out there and run since it seems to be snowing inches and inches of snow or it’s a stinkin’ polar vortex!
Yes!! It’s so hard! And it makes me realize how much I took living in a warm climate for granted. Definitely looking forward to the spring!
I have been so upset that I have skipped some workouts. Work has been crazy and I’m halfway through six 12-hour shifts this week. But this post was EXACTLY what I needed to hear. No more excuses. This girl is running when she gets off work this morning. 20 minutes would be me some good! Thanks Heather.
Runner Girl Eats
I love this post. I am constantly reminding myself that they only thing I have control of is how I react to life. It does wonders to my outlook!
A really nice post! Well done Heather, believe it or not you are inspiring with this thoughts your readers! I think we all go in circles many times in our lives, because it is so hard to move out of our comfort zone. For you it was easier to go back home and forget about your run, however you challenged yourself and moved forward! That’s something we all should think about. What are our responses to comfort zones and challenges? I don’t think is about being so hard on us that we don’t enjoy life as it is, but I know we have to push ourselves to the limits, otherwise we’ll miss the fun! Thanks for sharing!!
I’m a little behind on emails, but this was a beautiful post, Heather! Thank you 🙂
Thanks April! 🙂