Somewhere along the way of my weight loss/running, I started to see running as a part of my life--just something I would do, and there was no option to NOT do it. I still wake up and dread running, but the worst part of it is actually right before I start. I try to think of excuses to put it off until tomorrow (and my excuses are never legitimate), and I remind myself it's only 60 minutes of my entire day (or however long it will be). Most importantly, I think about how I will feel if I DON'T run.
On the few occasions that I've skipped a run for a non-legitimate excuse, I felt like crap--mad at myself for making excuses, like I failed on the small commitment I made, and very anxious. Running is the best way to relieve my anxiety, and since I have a lot of anxiety, I can't afford to skip runs. When I go more than two days without running, I get very edgy and irritable.
So anyway, about exercising in the morning (versus later in the day)--I like to get it out of the way first thing, before I do anything else, because then I feel like I can relax. I like to run before breakfast, so that I can get it done and shower, then sit and relax with my breakfast and tea while I read e-mail and blog comments. If I tried to relax that way before running, I wouldn't truly be able to enjoy it, because I would be thinking about (read: dreading) the run.
Honestly, the hardest part is just starting. I put on my workout clothes as soon as I get out of bed, before I can talk myself out of it, and then just do it. I have never, ever regretted a run. Once I start running, I play little mind games with myself to keep going. And when it's over, my body feels fantastic for the rest of the day! Totally worth the pay off.
So today, I really didn't want to run, but I did anyway. I had intervals on the schedule: 20 minutes easy, then 6 repeats of (3 minutes hard, 3 minutes easy), and then 10 minutes easy (66 minutes total). I was feeling really tired today, and I wasn't sure how well I was going to do with the intervals.
I ran the first 20 minutes at 6.0 mph, and then the first interval started. I took it up to 8.0, and after a minute or so, 7.5, and then 7.0. I was feeling really rough, but I didn't want to quit early (I knew I could at least finish the run, even if I chose not to do the intervals). I started thinking about the half-marathon on Saturday, and decided to see what a 9:05 pace felt like for a while.
I was watching The Biggest Loser (just started Season 2), but today was just really hard to take my mind off the fact that I was running. I struggled mentally, and I felt tired, but I knew I could hold pace. When 66 minutes came around, my heart rate was 157 ish, which isn't bad at all for having just run 7 miles. I think if I'm feeling good on Saturday, a sub-2:00 may be in the cards for me after all.
I totally forgot to write down an appointment for today--our home alarm company was scheduled to come and fix a problem. At 2:30, I got a call saying they would be here in 40 minutes. Naturally, my house was nowhere near clean, so I rushed around like crazy trying to get it done. The litter box is in the same room as our alarm box, so I made sure to clean the litter box out. When I was done, I brought the bag outside and lifted the lid of the trash can, dropped the bag of cat poop inside, and saw two glowing eyes looking at me.
I screamed (yes, screamed), dropped the lid, ran into the house, and shut the door. I knew it was a raccoon, but I am terrified of them. The trash can is super deep, and there was only one bag of trash in there, so I knew it had crawled in and gotten stuck (just like last time). I wanted to get a picture this time, so I grabbed the camera, and lifted the lid just the tiniest bit--expecting it to jump out and grab onto my face, like they do in the movies--but it just sat there and looked at me, like, "Help me!"
Now, I titled this post "Critters" (plural) because he wasn't the only one we came across today. My dad called me and said that his friend trapped a huge snapping turtle and gave it to him. My dad said he was going to make turtle soup, and he was wondering if the kids wanted to come over and see the turtle.
I kind of freaked out, because the turtle was still alive--I was sad for the turtle, but my dad is a hunter and fisherman, and this was totally normal for him. I told him the kids could come see it, but I didn't want them to watch him kill it. He said, "Why not? The kids are going to have to learn to do it someday, when they're grown and want to make turtle soup."
A couple of hours later, Eli called and begged me to let him watch Pay (that's what he calls my dad) "clean the turtle", because it's "just like cleaning fish, and I'm going to have to learn how to do it someday". Basically the same words my dad used! I thought about it, and asked Eli, "Is Pay going to kill the turtle before he cleans it?" and Eli was trying to think of what the "right" answer would be--whatever answer would make me say yes. He said, "No, he's not going to kill it, he's just going to cut the shell off and make the meat into turtle soup!"
I couldn't help but laugh at that. I asked to talk to my dad, and he said of course he was going to kill it first--that it would snap his fingers off if it was alive. So I agreed, as long as he killed it quickly and humanely. My dad reminded me of a time when I was little, and he was cleaning a deer carcass in the garage--I sat there and watched, all while eating a piece of pizza.