Yesterday was the long run day...5 miles. My parents live right near Cherokee Park and it is extremely convenient for me to park my car at their house and I can run straight into the park. If I knew how to post pictures on here, I would find some, but it is truly one of the most beautiful parks I've ever seen. There are very large changes in elevation which means really nice hill work. It's unbelievable how much your running can improve if you run hills. During summers in South Carolina, I would run around the island which is extremely flat, and never feel that my running improved. In 2007, after spending 4 months running the island, I came home and started running the hills in Cherokee Park and I felt a lot stronger in a matter of weeks.
Yesterday, not only did I run alone, I ran without music. Although it is nice to have music as a distraction most of the time, I also enjoy hearing the sounds of nature as well as my feet hitting the pavement. Running on treadmills is so monotonous. It's frustrating to run and run but not actually go anywhere.
Today I went to Bikram at 2 and it was an interesting class. First of all, it was nice that the class wasn't crowded. However, due to (and I'm trying to be as vague as possible) management influence, the room was uncomfortably hot. The room is supposed to be hot, but there is a fine line between hot and unbearable, and we crossed it. Honestly, Bikram can be a very competitive activity. You are in a room with floor to ceiling mirrors, surrounded by lots of fit people, and you're all trying to execute and hold complicated positions. I'm not going to lie when I say that I get a huge ego boost when I can perform a pose better than those around me. When the room is too hot and I have to back off and rest, I feel as if I haven't gotten as much out of the class as I would without a rest. However, my mantra is "listen to your body." Trying to push myself too hard so I can look good in front of the class isn't worth it.
Just as we have lots of good workouts, we are going to have bad ones too. It's just like life in general: we have our days where we feel on top of the world, and we have our days where it seems like we will never be happy again. Workouts can bring you down, people can bring you down, entire days can bring you down. However, without these struggles, we cannot grow, we cannot learn, and we cannot truly appreciate the good in life. Just take care of yourself. Reach out to those who love and support you no matter what. Don't let anything or anyone stand in your way of making you feel good about yourself. Eleanor Roosevelt said it best: "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent."
The lesson learned today is this: I am going to do what is best for me, and appreciate who I am and what I can do. Goodnight.