I ran 9 miles this morning. It took me two hours and of course, I walked some so I had a lot of time to think.
I've read somewhere that the right brain is what keeps you from liking to exercise because it's the side of your brain that drives you to pleasure instead of pain. I've had many years of pleasure-seeking and pain avoidance. My right brain says things to me like this: You can't run, your feet will hurt. You could fall and hurt your hip. You should go home now, I think you need something to eat.
I've learned to pack well when I run outside. It might seem like extra weight to people who worry about time, but since I don't, it doesn't. This morning, I took a jacket with a half a peanut butter sandwich in one pocket and a kleenex and my iPod in the other. I wore my hydration pack so I had water. I wore a hat to keep the sun out of my eyes. I was one well-prepared scout.
My physical discomforts were taken care of so I thought about my psychological discomfort. I'm a little leery of running outdoors where people can see me. I like to go on Sunday morning when people aren't out and about too much and I can be alone on the road. I have a path that isn't well-traveled. I never (well, almost never) go with anyone because I don't want to be the one who holds them back. I think this comes from years of feeling non-athletic and always feeling like the last one picked for games.
I wasn't good at sports. Until I learned I could make people laugh in a game of basketball, I avoided any kind of sport. I grew up in a time when girls didn't play sports and really, didn't even play games for fun. We had a once-a-month girls athletic club but we played games like deck tennis. Not a game widely played in the real world.
I told Nikki at the Banana Relay last week that I'm not competitive but I don't like when people pass me. Ha! Maybe that is competitive. How would I know?
I don't plan to make a career of running. I'm not sure I'll ever do another long run after the half marathon in Mankato. It feels good though, to know that I can run ten miles. I've managed to quiet the right brain.