I don’t know about you but slowing down is a struggle for me. In everyday life, with everyday situations I work my hardest to get the outcome I want and know if I slow down I may not get it. I work hard and want to reap the rewards. But sometimes it takes slowing down to reap the rewards.
I know, I know, that does not make sense. Here is my take on it. We need to slow down to enjoy the journey. We need to slow down and look around and appreciate what is there. Appreciate what we are doing, the process. Life is more about the journey than the end product. And best of all I think the end product will be better because we have taken the time to enjoy the ride (Oh and life is a ride!).
Right now at our house there is a LOT of things up in the air. One example is my house itself. We are in the middle or mid beginning of remodeling. Not quite sure how to describe it other than we have our living room floor in but plywood in the kitchen and bathroom, a toilet on our back porch and half my kitchen in my living room (which does make it easy to get a drink since the fridge is only 10 feet away from the couch!). I want to speed this process up because it sucks to come home to chaos at the end of the day. Also we have some transitions in jobs that are happening and that is a stressor I would much rather skip thank you very much!
So how do I handle these things and not be so resistant to change, enjoy the change and the adventure. Well for me, I try something new with running. Why not? It’s my stress reliever! Today I began working on slowing down my running. I know it sounds weird that I would try to slow down when most of the time we are all trying to speed up but I’ve been trying to figure out how to go father and keep a stronger pace. All the stuff I have been reading has been talking about slowing down to be able to run further and actually in the end go faster. I don’t know about you but I struggle to slow down and then by the end of my runs I am pushing myself to the extreme and then I am faster but at the expense of the rest of my body. I’m exhausted, my old, tired body becomes more sore and struggles in the repair stage/rest stage.
Today I worked on trying to stay in a low intensity state of mind and time by running at what I thought was a low intensity. You are supposed to do this with a heart rate monitor but I forgot mine so I went by feel. I figured that if I went at least a minute slower than what I thought, I would be about 80% of my effort and hopefully in the low intensity area. Not sure where I got a minute from but when I read about elite athletes they mentioned running some runs 2 mins slower than their actual race pace. Since I am a weekend warrior, I figured one minute would be good. The whole philosophy is to run most of your training runs at low intensity effort and the other 20% at high or moderate intensity. Here is a link for a better description from Running Times.
I’m hoping it works. Today it felt pretty good.
That brings me back to slowing down…
At first it was hard. It was hard to wrap my head around being outside doing the 10 mile distance and it taking longer than usual. It was hard to keep a slower pace. It was hard to hold back. But I started to get out of my head, look around a little more, just enjoy the fact I was doing something I really enjoy and feel each step. It began to get easier, I started saying “Hi” to everyone on the trail, smiled a little more, and enjoyed the breeze at my back (then hitting me in the face on the return). The benefit was that I enjoyed the journey. When I got done, I was ready to be done, but I wasn’t hurting from pushing too hard, I wasn’t upset that it was in the 80’s and I should have gone out earlier, I was relaxed. I felt like I listened to my body and my head was in a better place. Overall I would say it was a success and I am looking forward to training for my next marathon this way and hoping that it will work. And as far as slowing down and enjoying my everyday life journey, that still needs work but I think I learned some things to help:
1) Quit being resistant!
2) Change is okay and necessary.
3) I need to smile more and enjoy the journey.
4) Stay in the present moment embrace what is going on maybe even finding solace in the chaos.
5) The change will make you better and stronger!
It’s amazing what a good long run will do for your brain! 🙂 Happy Running!
Anyone ever tried this plan? Did it work for you? How about slowing down in general, do you struggle with this as much as I do?