Four Miles Is Nothing When Your Heart’s Already Pounding

Beating-Heart-GraphicsTonight was the fourth night out of the last five that I did a four mile run.  After slacking off for most of the Winter, I seem to have found my runner’s legs in the Spring thaw.  Yes, the warm, beautiful Maine weather does make running more enticing, but tonight, I used another weapon to inspire me to exercise…


When I got home from work tonight, I had a long phone call with The Girl Who Speeds Up My Heart.  Hearing her voice always gets my heart racing, and she always inspires me to be a better person.  As I’ve said many times previously, Modern Philosophers, running is all mental for me.  If I can distract myself from what I’m actually doing, I can get my body to cover long distances at a decent clip.  Tonight’s phone call got my heart racing, and gave my mind something to focus on out on the road.

runAnother great running tip, that I put to use tonight, is to tell someone whose opinion you value that you’re going for a run.  Once you’ve gone public with your intentions, there’s no way you can back out as you’d look bad in the eyes of a person you don’t want to disappoint.  If such a person isn’t readily available, post your plans on Facebook or Tweet them to your followers.  It’s the same idea…once you’ve put it out there, you look like a failure if you don’t follow through on it.

I told The Girl Who Quickens My Pulse that I was going to run four miles as soon as I hung up with her.  Once those words left my lips, I was locked in to complete that distance.

It also helps to write about your runs.  When I go a few days without posting about my running (mis)adventures, I usually get an email from a follower asking if that means I’m getting lazy again.  Believe me, such emails are definitely motivating.  When you know you’re going to write about your run, you can’t half ass it because then you’d have to crank out an article about how lazy you are, and that’s going to make you look ridiculous.   I often outline my article as I run, which distracts me from what I’m doing, which means I’m not thinking about how much I hate running.

crampAn unexpected motivator on tonight’s run, and one I don’t recommend you use on a regular basis, was developing a cramp with about a quarter of a mile to go.  I was amazed how the pain in my left calf got me to pick up the pace.  Sure, I looked like Hopalong Cassidy as I limped along that finally portion of my route, but all I could think about was getting to my driveway so I could stretch out my leg and make the pain stop.

The pain is way worse now, so if anyone has any tips on how to get rid of a cramp, please feel free to share.

Of course, my main motivation for running is to improve my health, to help me lose weight, and to ensure that I’m going to be around a long time to write articles about my ongoing love/hate relationship with the activity.  However, once I was done, the first thing I did was grab the laptop and shoot off an email to The Girl Who Inspires Me to inform her I’d not only completed my run, but had done it in my best time of the week.

silhouette-of-coupleLove might be my ultimate motivation, but in the end, it’s all about getting out there, setting a goal for myself, and pushing myself to beat that goal.

Spring is the perfect time to develop a running addiction.  There’s no better rush than the one I get when I reach the end of my run and check my time.

Don’t take my word for it.  Get out there and let me know how it feels…



About Austin

Native New Yorker who's fled to the quiet life in Maine. I write movies, root for the Yankees, and shovel lots of snow.
This entry was posted in Fitness, Humor, Love, Philosophy and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

37 Responses to Four Miles Is Nothing When Your Heart’s Already Pounding

  1. Dear Hopalong,
    To avoid cramping you need to drink 2 litres, 8 cups for Americans of water per day, plus replace the amount you sweat. You also need to maintain your potassium levels. That means Gatorade, Bananas. Yours in health, Honey. PS: Well done.

    • Austin says:

      I pound down water all day, but have not been keeping up on my banana intake. The Flying Monkeys stole all my bananas. Bastards! 🙂

  2. Actually the best replacement is: CHOCOLATE MILK! Yup, its true. BTW: is that your ass?

  3. Drops of Ink says:

    This girl won’t be running anywhere.. but I will certainly take your word for it. 😉

  4. Drops of Ink says:

    Yes he did.. shortly after having that really sexy gay moment with the original Spiderman, Tobey Maguire. 😀

  5. Hollie says:

    Just about the only thing that would motivate me to run would be a clown chasing me with a bloody knife with a big ole bottle of wine at the finish line. I did set the alarm to get up and work-out tomorrow (so now I’ve written about it and have to do it) but no running for me! That’s awesome though…keep it up! 🙂

    • Austin says:

      Killer clowns are available here in Maine. Stephen King, author of IT, lives 2 miles from me… Good luck with tomorrow’s workout. Glad you used one of my tips…

      • Hollie says:

        I didn’t know Stephen King lived in Maine. I’ve always wanted to visit there…but not so much for the killer clowns. I’m thinking of going on a 3 day fruit cleanse. And by fruit I really mean grapes. And by grapes I really mean wine. I could totally do it. In a seriousness though I’m looking forward to toning up and getting healthy.

      • Austin says:

        Yes, Uncle Stevie lives nearby. That’s why my blog is about the Maine depicted in his novels. Let us know how your workout goes… 🙂

  6. Another great post MP. Since I started blogging, I found myself more motivated to work out and get in shape again. Luckily, I have a girl who makes my heart race as well and is one of my main motivations to keep pushing myself. Not only that, but the community on here is so supportive and caring. Everyone just wants the best for fellow bloggers and helps push them. Good luck with your running and make sure to tell your amazing women how much she means to you.

  7. Dawn says:

    Drink more water and apply cold to the cramped area intermittently. Good job on the run!
    I did four miles tonight too..but I just started adding running to my I walked most of it…with several spurts of running. I’m sticking with it!

    • Austin says:

      Interval running is supposed to be a great workout so the walk and then run system should be good for you. I will keep drinking water until I flout out the front door… 🙂

  8. You are such a romantic. You two are adorbs.

  9. I am getting in shape, but running is something I will just never do… unless a cop or a bear are chasing me…

  10. Roxie the Outlaw says:

    What is it with running and blogging? The more I blog the more I run, which makes me want to blog! I’m going for three in the morning! Eat your bananas!

    • Austin says:

      Running gets the blood flowing, and once the blood is flowing, the Deep Thoughts start formulate, and it’s time to write. Enjoy your run!

  11. Susan Sassi says:

    This is great! I keep trying to run but my knees always end up hurting. I even went to a special runner store where they measured my feet and picked out shoes to help me distribute my weight on my feet correctly when I run. But I still have the kneed problems. Sigh. Do you have any issues with that?

  12. Congrats on finishing, even with cramp. As a daily runner myself I will agree with many on water and potasium being the key to avoiding cramps… Also their is a third element blood oxygen content, ones muscles need oxygen, in combination of H2O and potasium. This sadly is hard to control, however with constant running, and or swimming and cycling it builds up over time.
    Dreaded cramps can be massaged out in many cases.
    Great tips on motivating oneself!
    There is nothing better than the freedom of running and the feel of wind in ones face….
    Wish I lived close enough to join you for evening runs and harass you for early morning runs (my favorite time of day to run)

    • Austin says:

      Thanks for the tips. Glad you liked mine. If you ever come to Maine, I’d be happy to go out on a morning run with you. Just one, though… 🙂

  13. Good goolie woozie. Are you trying to make me feel obligated to get running again? Damn. Well, once I finally stop hacking up a lung thanks to the lingering effects of my sinus infection, maybe I will. (Not that my pup’s great escape today didn’t provoke some unintended cardio today anyway…)

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