Thursday, February 25, 2010

Talking myself into going the extra mile

3 miles = 2 miles + 1 mile

However, 4 miles = 2 miles + 1 mile + oh-you-gotta-be-kidding-me miles.

In other words, the idea of running, jogging, even just trudging 4 miles is very intimidating. It's a lot farther than 3 miles.

So I'm trying not thinking of it like that.

I tell myself I'll jog two miles. Twice.
I tell myself it's okay if I walk for a minute or two.
I tell myself to do whatever it takes, anything that breaks this mountain down into pieces that I can climb. Then I'll do a bit more.

Note: The phrase 'extra mile' is poetic license. I've been extending the distance in 1/2 mile increments, but that doesn't sound very poetic. My mind doesn't do things by halves: it considers a 3.5 mile jog as the same as 3. (Mental rounding?) But the mental adjustment involved in going 4 miles takes a lot more effort than in preparing my mind to go 3 miles.

Exercise du jour: Jog 4 miles. Or 2 miles and then 2 miles. Or jog 1 mile... 4 times.

Update du 8:30 pm: If it weren't for the fact that I posted this exercise goal up here (for all the world to see), I would probably not move at all. (It's been a rotten day.) Yet I know that after I've gotten off my butt and done the workout, I will be glad I did. Why do I need to force myself to do exercise?

That was a far better experience than I'd expected. I ran out of a lot of things on this run. First, I ran out of excuses. Then I got into a rhythm. I ran out all the frustration that had been built up all day. And I ran out of all the anger at things that could've been handled better. Then I ran out all the caffeine I'd been using to keep myself going. I begin to see why people get addicted to this running stuff. Taking the time to exercise gave me a chance to get back to myself. Sometimes you can spend the entire day giving yourself to others, trying to meet their expectations. This was a chance to relax and regroup.


kaitlin said...

You can do it!!!!

Theresa said...

You can do it! Buy why not ease up to it? Run 3.2 miles, 3.5 miles, 3.8 miles, etc. Like when you were doing the C25K.

Or add a minute or two onto each run until you get there?

Roxie said...

I'm not trying to rain on your parade or harsh your buzz, but I would caution against too much, too soon. I don't know your present fitness level, but I've read only 10% increase in distance per week. Ok, now that the negative Nancy crap is out of the way - good luck on your run. You can do it, just slow down. If you are going for distance, slow down. Yes, even slower than that :-)

Tricia said...

You are so right! For me there was a HUGE mental barrier between 3 and 4 miles and yet once I hit four I jumped right to 6 (skipping 5). If that makes sense. :)

You can do it! I just picked a course that took me away from home, if I wanted to get back I had to keep going. (As opposed to a course where I could cheat and head back early)Walk if you have to, but I bet you won't even need that. :)

Kelly the Happy Texan said...

I like the 1 mile 4 times. I'd probably do the mental thing of "1 mile down means I'm 25% finished." Then when you get to mile 3 you are 75% to goal. Or pretend there is a maniac trying to catch you and the police station (or your pistol) is at mile 4 and run like hell.

VRaz60 said...

I like the incremental addition of distance. No need to jump a mile at a time. Just my 2¢ worth.

alicia. said...

That's exciting! Good luck running 1 mile.... four times. :)

Gigi said...

I only round up when referring to pounds lost since I've never actually RUN a mile. But if I were to take up running, I would be rounding up in increments of 5 or 10 - seems like the same amount of work to me. Good luck - let us know.

messymimi said...

As I say when they ask if I can handle another kitten or two, since I am already bottle feeding 3-4, "What's one more flea on the elephant?"

Walk if you need to, you can go that extra mile.

Anonymous said...

Sunday when I run for 8 minutes for the first time in my life I'll be thinking of you and looking forward to my first 4 mile run!

Anne H said...

Wow -it a happening place over here.
I left you a sunshine Award on my blog today.

Watergirl said...

I work in kilometres which are shorter so hopefully doing the extra km will be easier than the extra mile.... or am I just kidding myself?! Good luck anyway :-)

Anne H said...

Easy does it!
Lots of people go, go, go, and then overtrain because they were in love with the numbers. Trouble is, the numbers didn't love them back.
It's for health, and fitness!
Let your own body tell how what level is right!

Dr. J said...

The way to do it is to run an out and back course, not round and round a circle. That way when you reach the 1 1/2 mile point, you can say, OK I'll just go a little further, and each time a little further. Eventually you will have a "painless" transition to a 4 mile run.