I've been really struggling lately. When I started running last year, I saw a lot of improvement really quickly. Before long, I was easily able to run four or five miles without stopping. Yes, I was slow, but could do it.
Last week, I couldn't even run one mile without stopping to walk.
I've been getting more and more frustrated, and the more I run, the worse I seem to get. I've been dreading my runs, lately. This isn't just a plateau, this a giant leap backwards. I've been getting really close to just giving up on multiple occasions.
A few nights ago, however, I was reminded that running can actually be enjoyable.
It was cold and snowy, and I really didn't want to go outside.
At first, I was miserable. It was cold, the snow was blowing in my face, my glasses kept fogging up and making it hard to see. I was convinced that this was going to be just another terrible, painful, unhappy run.
Something magical happened as I was about to give up and turn back towards home. I actually started looking around me and noticing all the things that I had been missing. Yes, the snow was cold, but it was also beautiful. There were Christmas lights and decorations up everywhere. I could smell pine trees, and sure enough, there was a Christmas tree lot just to my right.
Instead of focusing on how uncomfortable I was, I started focusing on how pretty everything was. Instead of beating myself up if I needed to walk, I used those walk breaks to soak up my surroundings. Before long, I was actually enjoying myself.
|I loved seeing all the decorations around my neighborhood.|
By the time I got home, I had actually been out longer than planned, but I was happy and relaxed and felt great.
Sure, running won't always be fun, but I need to remember that it can be fun.