Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Engage or Escape

I never imagined my mind could make or break a run.

There are times where I go on a run to engage the world around me. I run through Cooper Young to remind myself of the beauty of the city, to look into the windows of my favorite restaurants, to take on a specific hill. Or I trail run to remind myself what fresh air feels like and to get lost in the woods (on a trail no less). I go out hoping to have an adventure, to come back with a story about where I've been and what I've seen.
And yet, sometimes, I run to escape. I don't want to think anymore. It's either cry or listen to the sound of my steps, because it's very hard to run and sob at the same time. I don't want to talk. I want to either think through it all or of nothing at all.

The mind is such a powerful thing. I know the body is capable of doing more than I ever imagined, but that's my point. Sometimes I can't even imagine what I am capable of. 

When I first started running, I heard rumors that running is more mental than physical. I laughed at those rumors, a lot. I thought my "off days" where I couldn't get myself to run, were just opportunities to work on the creativity of my excuses not to. Then when I started training, actually following a plan, I became wiser. I quickly learned the power of the mind, the power to trick you, the power to make you want to quit more than anything, because it's too hard, too hot, too far, too long. But the real runner's high is this, that after you do it, after you run that distance, that time, in those conditions, after you do it, you've done it. There's nothing you can't do.

This is deep thinking for me. Thinking in this way makes me want to set goals; it makes me want a challenge, just to see what I can do. I think I have the itch. No, not that itch, the next-race itch. I want something good, something challenging.

The mind is a powerful thing. Support is powerful thing. Whether you're running for adventure or from insanity, for a purpose or from excuses, keep going. We understand, and we want to encourage you, too. Tell us on our blog, Twitter, or Facebook if you need some encouragement. Tell us how you struggle. We'll sympathize. We'l encourage you. And then, we'll tell you to keep going.

I don't know what my next goal or personal challenge is going to be, but I would love to hear your goals for the year and how you are challenging yourself. Let me know what races, distances, or other activities you do to keep yourself both sane and sharp! Let us know how to encourage you.


  1. Wow - Thank you for the inspirational post. I identify with this line - "after you do it, you've done it. There's nothing you can't do."
    I'm definitely addicted to trying new things and trying to do old things in a better or crazier way! I'm registered for 3 races this month.. that's as many as I've done in my life to date.

  2. Way to challenge yourself! Be sure to let us know how the races go. Who knows, at the end of this month, you could be saying, "Remember that time I ran 3 races in one month?"