I’ve always been someone who loves to workout. I find it incredibly satisfying to move for an extended period of time, I love getting the chance to mentally decompress from whatever is on my mind, and I actually enjoy having some time for myself. When Quarantine started, I knew working out was going to be necessary to staying sane. I was pumped to be able to try a lot of classes that had transitioned to online platforms. I figured I’d be in the best shape of my life.
But in all honesty, I missed getting away for 30, 40, or 60 minutes. Not being able to physically leave the space I was in all day, for some reason, didn’t offer the same satisfaction as I’d envisioned. Part of the beauty of workout classes is that they get you out of your own space and into a studio or gym. Just getting out of your house gives you that time for yourself. Clearly, during Quarantine, that wasn’t happening, and for good reason. Plus I couldn’t get into the regular routine that I was craving.
With the weather getting nicer and my need to have some time to myself intensifying, I decided I needed to get into a better routine. I haven’t run consistently in a while, but I knew, in the past, it had always offered me the physical and mental release I needed. The only thing was that I wanted this to be different than in the past, in that, I wanted to be slightly more chill about my new challenge. Typically, I get really competitive when running or training - go faster, be better, get stronger. But I knew if I wanted to stick with this, I had to ease up on the “run 8 miles a day” expectation.
So here I am. I committed to running at least 2 miles for 30 straight days, rain or shine. Running duration doesn’t matter in this particular challenge - it’s all based on miles run. I literally just made this up. I started on June 1st, so I’m now 12 days in, and feeling pretty good about it. I’ve definitely had my days where I really don’t want to run, but I’ve pushed through.
I’ve had to get creative with ways that I can change things up - new routes, new music, new distances. But here are some of the most fun things I’ve come up with.
Meditation Runs: During one shorter run, I wasn’t really feeling any of my music, so I turned on Deep Focus, a playlist on Spotify, and made it a meditation run. Usually on runs, I like to let my mind wander to make it go by faster, but there’s been a lot on my mind with everything going on in the world, so I decided to make up my own meditation run. Basically, I tried REALLY hard to stay in the moment. I focused on trying to take in what was around me, acknowledge how I was feeling (aka tired and sweaty) without judging it. It was actually REALLY peaceful and I came home feeling refreshed and ready to take on the world.
Podcast Runs: I love listening to podcasts on my drive to work - it’s one of my fave things to do. Getting in the car with my gallon (not really, but basically) of coffee and queuing up How I Built This with Guy Raz or Second Life with Hilary Kerr (or yes, even Pardon My Take every once and awhile) is just a really enjoyable time. Obviously, with no commute, my podcast time has been limited, so on one of my longer runs last week, I dove back into How I Built This with the Supergoop episode. It was SUCH a good interview - it basically felt like my run never happened. If you struggle to get through a long run, I highly recommend the podcast run.
Runs with Kennedy: I know I said that my workout time is time for me, but as a mom, sometimes you gotta be flexible. One our busier days, I’ve had a really fun time popping Kennedy into the stroller and taking her out on a little jog. Kennedy has become quite the chatty little 2 year old, so we actually have fun conversations. We also play a lot of “eye spy”, and before I know it, my run is over.
There’s nothing really groundbreaking about running for 30 days straight. It’s more of a mental challenge than it is a physical one. But I welcome the challenge - we need all of the mental strength we can get these days. We have a lot of work to do to make the world a better place - and the timing of this challenge could not have happened at a more necessary time.
Happy running everyone!