Monday, May 23, 2011

Just Listen

On Saturday I woke up early and started my day with a nice 8 mile run on the Montour Trail. This amazing trail is literally a 5 minute drive from our house and is a non-motorized recreational trail that stretches over 40 miles! It's actually part of the GAP (Great Allegheny Passage) which is a trail system that stretches over 330 miles from Pittsburgh, PA all the way to Washington, DC. Click on the link I have above if you want to learn more about it!

Now to actually get to the point. I left the house around 7:30am on Saturday for my fun. It wasn't until I was almost at the trail that I realized I forgot my iPod, and I was too stubborn to turn around and get it! Oh poor, poor me, what was I going to do for over an hour while running? Just listen. Instead of listening to music blaring in my ears, I had the change to listen to everything around me and inside me. Without my music, I was able to pay more attention to the sound of the creek that runs along side the trail, the sound of my shoes on the gravel, the sound of the birds singing in the air. I was much more attentive to detail as well. I noticed a few bunnies on the trail and even a chipmunk. I smiled and said hi to all those I passed. I can honestly say, I felt really good! It may have been the beautiful, sunny 60 degree weather and the fact that it was Saturday, but I think it was a little bit more than that.

Not only was I able to pay more attention to the beauty and wonder of my surroundings, but I was able to listen more to my body, heart and mind. I felt much more in tune with my body. Keeping myself on pace seemed to flow much better. I knew when I needed to speed up a bit and when I needed to take it easy to remain on my targeted goal pace. This "quiet time" also gave me the opportunity to think about myself. Here are some things I learned:
  1. I am absolutely great at starting things. I love starting new projects, planning new adventures, etc. I'm a great starter. I start strong and then I fizzle a little. Don't get me wrong, I ALWAYS finish, but by the end it takes me a bit longer and I'm less enthusiastic. I am quite like this in running as well. I start super strong! Too strong in fact. I have a tendency to let the Adrenalin take over and I start a race running way faster than my goal pace. This generally causes me to slow down towards the end. I'm working on really trying to maintain a solid pace throughout from start to finish come my September race. Wish me luck. It's going to take a lot of training to get the right mind set and I think I'm starting out doing time to hold out and finish.
  2. I am a motivator. I love motivating people. It's probably the group exercise instructor within me that just wants to reach out to everyone I see struggling. That person on the trail that has sweat dripping down their face, but they're still pushing on...I want to yell, "Keep going, think of how great you'll feel when you're done!" Nerdy I know, but I love telling my class or my boot campers that they'll appreciate what they're doing later! I sometimes have trouble motivating myself though. To be honest, one of the things that motivates me the most is when someone is doing better than me :) Competitive? No!
  3. I love being outside and I love being active. Sitting around is not something I enjoy. I'm sure anyone that knows me is fully aware of this. This is why I know that one day I will work at a gym full time as opposed to sitting at a desk.
  4. I miss my husband when we are apart. Okay so I already knew that I missed him when we weren't together, but here are just a few reasons why. When he's gone, there's no one to hold me when I'm cold or snuggle me when my tummy hurts. When he's gone I don't have someone to talk about the TV shows I'm watching with like Biggest Loser. When he's gone, Maggie is MUCH harder to deal with, especially at puppy class. When he's gone it feels like a part of me is missing and the house is empty. I just love him so much and I love when we are both home together.
Okay so those are just a few of the MANY things I thought about during this run. I finally had the time to JUST LISTEN. Just listen to my body, heart and mind. It was a nice experience. I think I'll be switching between iPod and no iPod for a while now to see what I like best.
Anyone out there have a preference, music vs. no music when working out? You know you want to leave a comment! Also, don't be a stranger and follow my blog! It's super easy and it makes me feel good to know what people out there are actually reading all of these crazy thoughts in my head! Just click follow up at the top right hand side of the page!

Until next time...
With love and God bless,
Amy, JP and Maggie

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