What’s Your Running Style?

October 7, 2009 at 1:36 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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10K Training Day: 6 (40 min. cross train)

10K Training Mileage So Far: 4.5

Miles this week: 2

Lately, during my runs, I’ve been thinking about this old episode from the sitcom Friends.  In the episode, Rachel and Phoebe decide to go running together in Central Park — but it soon becomes apparent they have very different running styles.  While Rachel runs in perfect form, like a prig, Phoebe tears around the park, arms flailing, legs crazy — running like a child.

That YouTube clip doesn’t really do the episode justice, but you get the general idea.

When I think of how, in the end of the episode, Rachel tries Phoebe’s crazy running style and likes it, I smile.  It’s a good reminder that sometimes you don’t need to do what the experts say or what makes you look the best to other runners on the path — you need to do what feels good.

Yesterday, I started my 2-mile run for the day with my iPod blaring, Run Keeper Pro updating me how fast I was going and how far I had run.  I was smiling.  It was a chilly day– about 40 degrees, but the running kept me warm and I felt good!  I even started singing along with my iPod playlist, doing a little dance — taking a page from Phoebe’s running playbook if you will.

But it didn’t last long.

I’m not sure where it started to fall apart, but it did.  Maybe it was when my Run Keeper (who I’ve decided to name Gertrude) told me I was only .46 miles into the run and I thought I was a half a mile.  A small discrepancy, I thought, no big deal. But when .46 became only .92 when I thought it would be a mile — it became a deal.  A big deal.  I was running in our neighborhood on the same loop I had been running alllllll summer.  I started to panic.  Had I been fooling myself all summer?  Had I really not run as far as I thought I had?  What if I really couldn’t do this?  What if the 2 miles I thought would be EASY when I set out would in fact be REALLY HARD.

That’s when it started to fall apart.  I let my self doubt creep in and my run went to crap.  I made the two miles, but I did it slower that I usually do and I stopped twice.  What the heck?  This was supposed to be an easy run.  I’ve got a three miler coming up tomorrow.  If I can’t do this 2 miles, how will I accomplish 3?

It took until the end of the run to remind myself that I’ve run farther and faster before.  Gertrude keeps a log of my runs, and while there are only three on the log so far, the other two were more than 2.5 miles.  I can do this.  Why did I let my terrible thoughts tell me I couldn’t?  I ended the run feeling pretty disappointed in myself — which is worse than the fact my run had gone crummy.  I could recover from a crummy run — could I recover from self-doubt?

So I have a plan for tomorrow.   Tomorrow, when I start that 3 miles, I’m still going to use Gertrude, I’m still going to listen to my iPod and I’m still going to run like usual.  I’m NOT, however, going to listen to that little voice of doubt that tells me I can’t do this or it won’t go as well as I want.  That voice is NOT my trainer.  I am my trainer.  That voice can TAKE A HIKE.

And if the doubt persists, I’m going to scare it away with a little Phoebe running.  🙂  Let’s face it — that doubt is the voice of rigidity and judgment.  Nothing will scare it away better than some good ol’ fashioned crazy running.

I’ll let you know how it goes tomorrow.

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