Going the Extra Mile

I went for a run in Berkeley today for the first time... ever. I think.

How running in Berkeley compares to running in Hawai'i:
1. 30 deg F. That is, it is 77 deg F in Honolulu right now and it is 47 deg F in Berkeley right now.
2. I still ran with the threat of rain.
3. In Hawai'i, I ran along the beach -- it was beautiful, and also, there were a lot of bums. In Berkeley, it is beautiful and there were just as many bums.
4. In Hawai'i, all I could think about was jumping into the ocean after my run. In Berkeley... this did not occur to me at all.

= = =

Some thoughts about me + running:
1. I learned that I do not at all like running with music blasting in my ears. Fast music stresses me out and leisurely (slow) music makes me feel like time is coming to a standstill. I prefer to run headphone-less.
2. Neither do I like running on a tread mill even when it's in front of a TV and even when it is in a lovely air conditioned room. I prefer to feel the natural elements on my face: wind, water vapor, sun... OK, maybe not dirt.
3. Mind over matter. My legs get kinda tired and my lungs kinda heave and wheeze, but mostly, I need to conquer this mental block that keeps me from going and going and going. I know that whenever I feel tired, I always have a little bit of energy stored up somewhere: I just gotta push. That extra surge of adrenaline will come. With time, my legs will strengthen and my heart and lungs will pump and breathe, but I need to work on focusing my thoughts. Right now, my trains of thought go something like:

"Duuuude. I suck. I've barely been running for a few minutes, and I'm already tired? My younger sisters run better than me. My mom runs better than me. Everyone runs better than me. How long has it been? Has it even been a mile? There's no way I'd be able to finish a half marathon. I wouldn't even be the last person to finish, because I wouldn't be able to finish. I'd just suck. Damn, I suck."

For real.

I need to focus my thoughts to be more like:

"OK, keep going. Just get to that corner right there, then slow down a bit. OK, now let's pick up the pace. Now slow down. Don't stop. Even running slow is better than walking. Just keep going. You can do this. I can do this. Keep breathing. Keep breathing."

Now that I think of it, this is the thought process that should be on repeat in my mind no matter what I'm doing. Slow down. Keep breathing. Keep going. I can do this.

= = =

During my run today, an old man called after me "you run an extra mile for me, you hear?"

So I did. I feel pretty good about myself.

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