The past few weekends I’ve been upping my long run mileage bit-by-bit, and seeing how my body reacts. One thing that I find interesting and fun, is when I separate my mind from my body, which sounds a little strange, but what I mean is that I am able to think rationally and evaluate my physical condition without that condition affecting my thinking. Does that make sense?
In the past I’ve imagined my brain to be like the pilot of a giant robot, who evaluates the gauges and dashboards, then adjusts things like the level of effort, body position, smoothness of running motion, where I hold my arms and hands, etc. If I feel a leg muscle getting tight, it’s like a warning light starts flashing in the cockpit, so I adjust a lever and ease up a little. This is kind of a fun way to keep my mind active and also to make sure I don’t push too hard. I generally have four sets of gauges: muscle fatigue, heart-rate/cardio, temperature level, and joint condition.
These days, the cardio warning light rarely comes on, and temperature level is similar. These two are not difficult to regulate, so if the light does come on, I can simply slow down. Muscle fatigue is pretty consistent in its depletion level (think of a bar gauge with percentage slowly getting smaller), and the joint condition is probably the one gauge I watch most closely. My foot has felt a little sore the past couple of runs, but felt good on the most recent outing. Still, it’s something that can really derail my efforts if I am not careful. At 51 years old, I need to definitely not push myself too hard.
However, I’m still enjoying getting out there and practicing mindfulness while running. It’s one of life’s little joys.
Today’s photo is of the State Flower of Texas, the Bluebonnet. They are starting to bloom! I enjoy seeing them when running, although this photo was taken while I was out birding. Tweet tweet! 🐦