Last night when I got home, neither peace nor motivation had caught up with me. It was cool but the sun had come out, and although I wanted curl up on the couch - preferably with the blanket over my head - I knew that being out in the sun would be good for me. Besides, if I stayed inside I would either have the news on or be reading stories on my computer which would not be good. Or I would be seeing how much of my head I could fit in a jar of peanut butter.
I didn’t want to go too far from home. Not sure if this is just me or an instinctual thing, but when bad things happen, I want to be at my home. I remember the morning of 9/11 and I kept thinking that I wanted - needed - to get home.
So I decided to try running on the trail that Marc cut again - get some exercise in, but stay at home. I’ve only tried trail running a couple of times now, and I can’t say that I love it. You see, trail running, much more so than “regular” running requires 2 things - mental focus and self-control.
If you were on Jeopardy and the answer was “Mental focus and self-control” and you buzzed in and said “What are two things that Jen sucks at?” Alex would happily yell “Correct!!”
When I run in general, I tend to zone out. But on the trail that Marc cut, the ground is uneven and there are ruts and raised areas and rocks. So, unless I want to fall and/or break an ankle, I have found that I have to be focused on where I am stepping at all times. Plus, I have to run much slower which actually takes - at least for me - a lot of patience.
So I changed my clothes and went outside and began to slowly run that trail. And it wasn’t easy to navigate and I found my frustration getting more and more intense. By two laps around - .66 miles exactly, I was like “FUCK THIS!” But I decided to keep going.
At 6 laps, or 2 miles, despite the slower pace I was breathing hard and tripped over a rock and turned my ankle pretty good. Which made me ANGRY. The dogs were not mirroring my frustration. They could run at their own pace - into the field at times - ahead of me, behind me - lagging, catching up. A couple of times they even “cheated”- running from the front directly to the back yard skipping the trail and taking the shortcut. The little shits.
Speaking of the dogs, I remember watching Cesar Milan talking about dogs running on the treadmill. He said that it is not just good for them physically. He said that while trotting along at a steady pace is pretty instinctual and natural for most breeds due to how they evolved, running on a machine is not and takes intense concentration. So it is extremely good for them mentally as it teaches them discipline and wears them out both physically and mentally.
Turns out trail running did that for me, too. I planned to stop at 3 miles. It took about 2.5 for my head to settle down and for me to just patiently jog and navigate the minor obstacles instead of fighting it. So I went a couple more laps than intended and stopped at 4 miles.
I was then in a better place. Tired emotionally and physically. Today I am trying to focus on the good stories - trying to believe that there is GOOD in the universe as well as evil...
And my weight? Back to the Exact. Same. Number. Sigh....