I love food, I hate to run, and yet I run to eat.
I am purely motivated by the extra allotted calories I can intake if I put myself through a tough workout. The motivation for my first half marathon was the vegetarian quinoa burger, French fries and chocolate shake at Burger Lounge I knew was waiting for me post-race. I was enraged when the race was over and I was so tired, cranky, and overall blistery that consuming the glorious meal took way more energy than I had left in my body.
I am a pretty healthy vegetarian who is not afraid of chocolate and thus not exactly gracing the cover of Shape magazine anytime soon. For some people, working out is second nature. To me it's a chore and never easy. So believe me: finishing a half marathon was a BIG deal.
It has been a couple months since my first half marathon and I am "training" for another one coming up in 3 weeks. Unfortunately, my legs recently entered into depression and I have found every excuse in the book not to run in the last couple months. I should be running right now, but here I am typing away and wondering if they make some sort of Prozac or depression medicine for your legs. Instead, I go to the best form of therapy I know: hot yoga.
One of my favorite instructors was gently taking to us in savasana yesterday about how sometimes your body shuts down and will not allow your mind to control it the way it wants to. Sometimes your body needs a break and if your mind won't listen, your body will find it's own way of slowing down. I nearly started crying. Just hours before I had tried running 3 miles and ended up walking 2 of them and was left feeling lazy and deflated. I do not claim to be an elite runner by any means, but I do know that you have to get off your butt to actually kick it.
I make a lot of discoveries in savasana as just then I realized that I was really fortunate to be a running yogi, and that is okay to slow down every now and then. Going to a hot vinyasa flow yoga class after a 9 mile run feels like a reward rather than a workout, and it is a practice I think a lot of runners would benefit from. Sure, running competes with your flexibility and ability to get into certain poses, but take your ego out of it and discover the heavenly place that is child's pose. If it weren’t for yoga keeping my legs flexible and loose during my half marathon training, I really do not know how a below average runner like myself would have survived. Go on and run that half marathon, and then take a deep breath and relax in child's pose for a little while. You earned it. (By the way - a chocolate shake has no calories after a half marathon).