I'm celebrating my first milestone in this year long journey- day 30! As of today, I am 1/12 of the way through my one year challenge of no added sugar, no grains, no legumes and it should be noted that unlike previous Paleo go rounds, I feel calm, relaxed, and ready for the next 11/12ths.
A little more then 10 years ago, I started running. I'm not really sure how the evolution in me took place, because I had always HATED running before that. My first run was short, but I made sure to push myself to the perceived point of death (looking back, it was probably 3/4 of a mile, and took me 9 or 10 minutes?). I woke up the next morning so sore that I can clearly remember it as one of the top 5 most sore moments in my life. I went back out and did it again. Eventually I got less sore, and slowly started increasing my distance/speed. Then there was a day a few months later, when I had worked myself up to 3 mile runs, where all of a sudden I realized I was enjoying it. My lungs weren't on fire. I didn't feel like death, I felt in control, in a rhythm, and I felt like I could go on forever if I wanted. It was such a defining moment...and even more so when I'm sure the major thing I did differently at that moment was just relax.
I had always been so focused on the fact that I was doing something just because I thought I had to, and it felt unnatural to me, and it was hard in the beginning, so it always needed to be that way? These thoughts would cause me to tense up and make my runs SO much harder then they should have been. All I needed to do was relax. Let my breathing calm, let my legs do their thing. Once I was relaxed, I felt like I could go for miles and miles. Running wasn't so bad afterall.
Over the past 10 years I've gone through many phases of running, not running, trying to run again and everywhere in between. Kinda similar to my eating patterns. It always felt like I was trying to get somewhere- either around Greenlake or lose X amount of pounds in X amount of time, there was never the element of relaxation, and just letting a rhythm take over- until now.
This is what I knew about myself that I could not put into words earlier...that a 30 day or 60 day challenge is not enough for me. When I have destinations like that, I tend to get antsy near the end and count down until I can "rest." Right now I don't have that angst. I'm running an ultra marathon here. My destination is so far away, I might as well just kick back and enjoy the slow, relaxed ride and take in some scenery along the way.