- “I can run for a long time.” Yeah, three years ago, I was happy to make it 10 minutes, much less three, four, or even twelve times that. I used the American Running Association’s Walk/Run Program to slowly build up my body’s ability to run. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: the secret to running any distance is a gradual increase in mileage. If I can do it, I KNOW you can too!
- “I am a Runner.” If you read my post from the other day, you’ve heard my deliberations on whether or not I deserve to call myself that. I think religiously waking up at 4:30 or 5:00 on Sunday mornings to run anywhere between 4 and 11 miles separates me from the joggers. I might not be a “full-fledged Runner” yet, but I’ve at least proven that I deserve to be among the ranks of True Runners. If you didn’t believe me on point number 1, I definitely would have thought you were crazy if you told me that I would give up four sleeping-in mornings a week to go out and sweat. I never would have predicted this sort of atypical Linden behavior. But I like that it’s becoming typical.
- “One of my guilty pleasures after a long run is an ice bath.” Oh, man! I am still not sure what it is that makes them feel so nice, but I actually look forward to slipping into that frigid water after a long, hard run! (Applying coldness to injuries helps to stop the injury process, and if you combine that with the gentle compression of the water, you are getting two M./R.-I.C.E. treatments in one with an ice bath.) See, usually, I HATE cold water. My showers are normally hot and steamy, and I tend to nudge the temp up as the shower goes on and either the water gets cooler or I get used to it. I remember laughing at this idea about two years ago, actually. Then I had one after my first 12 miler. And I was immediately hooked. :)
One of the things I like about my new, healthy habits is recognizing the ways I’ve changed. Some (like waking up so early!), I don’t think that I’ll ever truly get used to, but others (like my icy guilty indulgence), I already cherish. I think these changes do two things for me: I actually see how I am growing as a person and an athlete, and I realize that I can change my habits if I really want to. All it takes is dedication, time, and a little willingness to give up old, comfy habits.
EDIT: Quote to inspire me to pay closer attention to what I eat:
At the end of the day, no matter what you eat, food accounts for about 60 to 70 percent of the total process of living healthy. The other 30 to 40 percent is still due to physical activity, so you still got to get your butt off that couch and get movin’!
Thanks to iVillage for the great article on 8 “Superfoods.”