Yesterday was not my best morning. Even after my cup of coffee, I still felt like I needed seventeen more. But I knew that I needed to get in my miles that morning no matter what, so I scrounged up some running shorts, took the slightly stinky sweater from Tuesday’s run and my crazy Garmin, and headed out the door.
Since my energy levels were not exactly awesome but I still wanted to maintain a steady pace, I decided that I would run laps around the reservoir. It’s flat, it’s pretty, and the ground is soft. It was also full of puddles.
But I was not about to be stopped by a few puddles. As far as I was concerned, it was just another run in Central Park, but as I closed in on my first half mile, I saw something that infuriated me. A runner going in the wrong direction.
Now for those of you who don’t run in New York, the reservoir path is wide enough for about three people to run side by side, so it’s not made to accommodate heavy traffic in both directions. Everyone is required to move in a counter clockwise direction, and given the large number of people running around the reservoir at any time of the day, it’s imperative that people follow the rules.
Because this is New York and there is always traffic.
Now this pesky clockwise runner was coming straight at me with a big puddle between us and only one six inch patch of dry land to run through it. A game of chicken was on. One of us was going to have to slow down to accommodate the other, and it sure wasn’t going to be me.
After I passed that runner, I figured that would be the last of the rogue runners, but like clockwork, every quarter mile, I had to dodge and swerve around rule breakers and more puddles. And every time, I passed one of them, I would yell in my head, “You are going the wrong way! Can’t you read the signs?” Outwardly, I was a vision of morning running happiness, but inside I was seething.
I just didn’t want to be running that morning. It was cold, rainy, cloudy, and my ears were getting cold since I didn’t bring my headband. It already took what felt like an insurmountable amount of effort to climb out of the warm bed, drink a cup of coffee, find something to wear, and connect to a satellite. Did I really have to play Frogger on my morning run as well?
This is how most of my days start though. I don’t jump out of bed and into my sneakers. I drag my feet and refuse to run without drinking a cup of coffee first. I’m always looking for a clean pair of socks or a forgetting to charge something. And even once I get my butt out the door and start running, I’m always thinking, “I really don’t want to run x-miles.”
Let me repeat that: I don’t wake up excited to run every morning.
But I’m stubborn, and I make myself go out there, and without fail, around 2 miles I’ve fallen into a groove, whether it’s a playlist I rediscovered from five races ago, or a work problem I’m trying to sort out, or dodging rogue runners and jumping over puddles, my mind stops whining and gets it over it.
You see every morning when I wake up, it’s my mind that’s trying to sabotage me. Oooooh, wouldn’t you love to have a bagel with cream cheese today? Why don’t you buy that bag you love from Marc Jacobs? How about drinking some wine tonight instead of going to bed early for your run? A massage at Bliss Spa sounds like a really good idea. Let’s sleep in for another hour.
But my heart, it doesn’t care about Marc or bagels or spas. My heart likes to run. It likes feeling the wind on my sweaty face and getting all out of breath and having legs too shaky to wear high heels. And so whatever it takes for my mind to settle down and let me get to this running business, works for me. If it’s being angry at other runners one day, than I’m gonna take it. ’Cause I’ve got to run, and no one, not even myself, is going to get in my way.
Do you often start out your workouts unexcited or unmotivated? If not, do you have a secret you can share with me? If so, how do you get yourself over “that hump”?