CAN - step - step - step - CAN
Most runners I know use running to occasionally "clear their head". You know, when the pressures of life build up and you feel like you can't get ahead, a good run will help to prioritize the important things and start making progress on them. A few nights ago, I was at that point and ended up going for a run around midnight. Nearly full moon and lots of streetlights made this a pretty safe thing to do for me, and while I was not able to fall asleep as soon as I got home, I was able to sort out my thoughts and feelings a lot better. When I did fall asleep around 3, I slept so soundly that when I woke up at 6, I felt more rested than I usually do after 8 hours of sleep.
That run was more of a "release-valve" type of run. It just let me vent some emotions on the pavement instead of on my family. This morning was more of a "clear my head" kind of run. I decided to use a regimented 3/1 run/walk ratio rather than the "run till you are ready to puke then walk till you are ready to run again" method I used for my midnight run. This helped me focus on my run and push everything else to the back of my mind. The 3 min run is a good interval for me. It is achievable for 6-8 iterations, but I really need to push myself for some of them. I read this quote on a friends FaceBook page recently:
"Your biggest challenge isn't someone else. It's the ache in your lungs and the burning in your legs, and the voice inside you that yells 'CAN'T", but you don't listen. You just push harder. And then you hear the voice whisper 'can'. And you discover that the person you thought you were is no match for the one you really are."- unknown
I thought of that when the 3 minute intervals were getting hard. I just thought that one word "can", took a few more steps, "can", a few more steps, "can". No worries about life or pending decisions. No work headaches. No car trouble. No thoughts other than "can" until I hit the 3 min mark and then I thought "DID!!!" In 60 seconds, I was ready to run again.