Yesterday there was a 3.5 mile run on the schedule, and after the last two runs I had that were just bad, I was kind of dreading it. I decided that maybe I should mix it up a bit and try running somewhere new. Sometimes recovering the same ground, especially the ground where you have found yourself walking instead of running, can be a bad thing.
Since moving to Sacramento a few months ago and starting running again, I have been wanting to go to this park downtown where it seems like all the runners go. It is called McKinley Park, and has a big dirt path around it that is very knee-friendly. It has a large pond with ducks and geese and a rose garden, and lots of grassy area. My daughter's specialists and the hospital she has been admitted to twice are all in Sacramento, and I would pass this park when driving her to appointments or going home to shower while she was in the hospital, and I would always see people running at the park. It is kind of a Sacramento thing to do. So yesterday I thought I would go out and try it.
I was a bit intimidated by the time I got to McKinley and got out of the car. I mean, there were real runners out there. What if I completely didn't belong? I had to overcome the fear of the other runners judging me and just get out there and start. I had heard that the lap around the park was a mile, so I was geared up to do three and a half laps and then walk the other half of the lap back to my car. However, as I came back around to my car the first time, I checked the MapMyRun application on my iPhone and found that instead of having gone a mile, it was only .77 of a mile. Which really irritated me, because now I knew that my counting was off, and I didn't know how many laps I would have to do. (Of course I could have figured this out by checking on my phone when the mile actually came around, but I don't get a lot of oxygen to my brain when I run and this sounded like too much work.) So I did a few more laps, wanting to walk at times but not allowing myself to.
As I was coming up on my third lap, I figured out that some runners were crossing the small street at one corner of the park - the dirt path continued around another grassy area that was about half a block and that technically is not a part of McKinley at all - at least not on the maps. In one of those "ooh" kind of moments, I realized that the mile around the park must incorporate that area as well. So I added it in to that lap. Without going into all the gory details of my huffing and puffing, there were several times I wanted to quit, times when I thought I had run further than I had only to be snapped back to reality by the running app telling me I still wasn't done, but in the end, I made myself run the entire distance. And it could have been worse. It could have been better, but it could have been worse. It was good for me to overcome the voice in my head telling me I needed to walk, because I knew at that moment that I didn't "need" to walk, I only wanted to walk.
After running at the park, I felt like a true Sacramentan. However, I am not a big fan of doing laps when I run - I might as well be at the track. I kept thinking "Ok, I have passed this stupid tree 4 times now..." When I run, I would rather get somewhere. If I had my way, I would run all of my miles one way and then call my hubby to come pick me up - I don't love covering ground I have already covered. But it was nice to be out with other runners, to feel like I was doing something that the "real" runners do, and I succeeded at finishing, so overall it was a good morning.
I just need to refocus my mind and quit being so down on myself. Negative thinking definitely makes the whole thing harder.
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