*Lindsay’s Note: The following is part seven in a multi part series by Rebekka Utermohlen on her 2015 Fitness Journey.
I finished week 2 of c25k in a week! I even went on to start week 3 before I caught a bug and had to put exercise on the shelf. It’s been ten days since my last run, but I’m changing that tomorrow morning since I’m finally feeling better. I wanted to share what I think about when I run. My boyfriend and I go to a local track in the morning that has senior walkers, new mommies with strollers, and a few seriously fit people. You walk on the outside and run on the inside of the track. A few times I’ve had to dodge people that are moving a little slower than I am, which feeds my competitive side, but passing up a sixty year old five foot Indian man shouldn’t be an accomplishment. We follow the run and walk cues given by C25K, and usually my boyfriend needs to look at me from the other side of the track to see if we are supposed to be walking or running.
At the moment my ‘running’ is more of a steady jogging pace. I believe it’s better to keep my heart elevated for an extended period of time versus sprinting and then giving up before the designated run time ends. When I want to give up I start singing “put one foot in front of the other” from the stop action classic, Santa Claus is Coming to Town. I repeat this over and over again in my head, my eyes fixated on the track. I don’t know any of the other lyrics, but “put one foot in front the other” so I go into a zen like state using this tune as my mantra. But even listening to the full song now, it’s quite motivating.
On the third day of week 2 I felt like I needed to push my pace and try to actually run. On my last lap I wanted to put my all into it, but with my muscles fatigued I needed another visualization. I told myself to be a gazelle. Yes, the swift and graceful African antelopes who can move up to 60 miles per hour. I am a gazelle! As I was running I kicked out my front leg to increase my pace. I didn’t start running around the track like a ballet dancer, making a grand jeté to finish my last lap. But it did help to increase my pace. I pushed myself to move further and put more force behind my exercise. I finished my lap like an exhausted gazelle.
Four days later when I started day one of week 3, I was stunned to find out our first lap was 3 minutes of running. 3 minutes!! My mental exercises from week 2 had prepared me for this physical feet, and I went into my zen state, never stopping, putting one foot in front of the other.
What plays in your head when exercising? How do you mentally motivate yourself?