My cough flared up today but it wasn't bad enough to skip the gym. I went after work and it was still nice enough to run outside. I've been doing all of my gym runs on the treadmill lately. Not sure why, in the past I would avoid the treadmill like the plague. So I told myself I was overdue for an outside run and that, in fact, it's easier to do a leisurely, run-by-feel run outside than on a treadmill. Outside my pace can change incrementally a million times based on how I feel, that's just not doable on a treadmill. So I hit the road with a plan to run for 25 minutes. I've been doing 3 miles but because of the cough situation I decided to run for time.
The run started out rough, I was coughing a bit and everything felt difficult. I turned off my music so I could hear myself breathing and after 4 - 5 blocks I fell into a comfortable rhythm. I started to remember some of the stuff I've been reading in Born to Run about form. I focused on just gliding over the ground, no big steps, no bouncing, just a smooth, easy glide, almost like I'm drifting forward. In the last few minutes of the run I had this odd sensation of wind being at my back, as if I was getting the slightest push from behind. It was odd in that I couldn't explain it, but the feeling wasn't odd, it was wonderful. I still remember it as I'm sitting here on the couch, just this little push forward. I hope I can make it happen again.
After a cool-down walk I headed back into the gym for strength training, legs/shoulders/core. I like to get jump squats out of the way first because they are such a challenge. I hyped myself up with my music and then started leaping in the air. I've been doing them for a while so nowadays I try and jump as high as I can. Talk about a challenge. My legs start burning, my heart's racing. So for my third set I decided to do regular squats with 12 pound dumbbells - they felt so easy! Too easy even, so I ended up doing a third set of jump squats just to be sure I wasn't slacking. Wink.
|Another from my beach shoot.|
I get a bit lost in the music and revel in the feeling that everything I am is just what I should be, that I am perfectly good, perfectly enough. I breathe in all that's right in my world and breathe out all that I don't need. I don't consciously think that but I know that's what I'm doing Just being in the moment, letting my stresses go for a while, and savoring that post-workout satisfaction that comes from knowing I just spent some time taking care of myself - it's so good. It's my thank you (and my you're welcome) to myself.
And don't underestimate the music. I have a variety of soft, soothing songs that immediately take me away. Even if I only have 3 minutes to stretch and cool down, I take it. If you're not doing this at the end of your exercise I suggest you give it a try. It's a soft bit of self care after the tough love that was my workout. And speaking of self care...I'm off to bed. Night one and all.