Running Dreamin’

I’ve come to find that cross training, like running, is based very much upon your mental approach.

With past injuries, my overwhelming negativity about cross training led to workouts that were less than beneficial. I look back on the hours I sweated away and think I may have been better off just taking a full break from exercise. I literally loathed every minute I had to cross train.

With this injury, everything has been different. I’ve felt hopeful, grateful, challenged, changed. Now I’m super psyched for when I finally get to run again, but mostly just to be healthy in general.

One of the things I like to do now while cross training is visualize myself running. I try to relate the workout I’m doing to some running workout I used to do, or even past races I’ve run. I try to recreate the scene in my mind. I put myself back on a track, on a sidewalk, on a trail. I imagine the sounds my footsteps would make and I pretend my breathing matches those steps. I see myself maintaining my pace, making moves with competitors, and even kicking down various home stretches.

Stanford's track

BYU's track

Lagoon Valley high school CC

Carterville Rd - a fav from college









Terre Haute


These are just some of my favorite places to picture myself running.

I don’t do it for the whole workout, but I do try to keep it up for most of it. It seems to help make the time pass as well as make my intervals a little more fun. I know I can make these strong running memories of mine a reality again. And I know this “in between” time is just that: in between. Hopefully I’m in between my mediocre running and some soon to be AWESOME running. I can’t wait to see what’s around my next corner or two.

You don’t have to feel happy about being injured. But I’ve sure been learning how to mix myself up a sweet pitcher of lemonade with the lemons that rolled my way. 





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9 thoughts on “Running Dreamin’

  1. That is awesome Cecily – it definitely works. I would use visualization a lot. As I ran and it got tough I would visualize how it would help me in my other activities. Making legs stronger to help me pop up on the surfboard or stand on a tiny hold to reach the next one on a climb. It definitely translates to more positive thinking and thus your body benefiting more from the workout. Hang in there – you will be running again soon – I feel it coming. We will miss you the next 2 weeks – see you soon!!!!

  2. Your attitude about your injury is very inspiring. Thanks for sharing your outlook and for being such a great example to so many of us. I think that dealing with this will only make you stronger in the long run. :)

  3. What great visualization!!! You are so awesome! I feel like you have grown so much and really worked through some running baggage with this injury. Keep rocking it, Sister!!!

  4. I do a similar thing. There is a 5 mile loop that I run often and I think-‘ if I were on that course, this is where I would be.’ I even do this while I’m running other races. Weird, I know. I’m one of those people that likes (HAS) to know exactly where they are on the course, where the hills are, and how much longer I have until I’m finished.

  5. I totally know what you mean!! Having done 3-4 months of XT this winter, I know that you have to get your head in the game even if you’re not running. Visualization helps me a lot, especially when I’m pool running. On an interval I actually think of specific runners that I know I’m going to run against this spring and imagine myself out-kicking them at the end of the race. It helps a lot!!

  6. I do exactly the same thing!!!! I completely agree, if you’re not gonna get the most out of your XT workout….then you’re not doing much except burning calories and you might as well rest. So if you’re gonna choose to cross-train…well anything worth doing is worth doing well, right? I love that you picture yourself on the track or the trails. Since I’ve been spending the majority of the last 9 months ( I might as well have had a kid, right? lol!) crosstraining, I’ve learned to basically “zone out” and pretend like I’m running. I listen to my same pump-up playlists as I do before runs – songs that have little messages to me about running. And I totally picture myself grinding away on the trails, passing chicks left and right in a road race, flying down a cross-country home stretch. Cuz, if I cross-train hard enough and heal up, THAT’s where I’m gonna be someday, that’s how I’m gonna put all the elliptical/bike time to use. Lately I’ve actually been able to do other “real sports” as crosstraining, and I think it’s helped me to learn to love cycling in and of itself as well – it takes away the pressure of “what if I am never able to run again”, and reminds me that there are so many other cool things I can do with my athleticism…makes my injury less of a do-or-die type thing I guess haha. How is your foot by the way? Any updates/new insights? Have you started any running yet? keep us updated!! :-)

  7. I know it sounds so cliche but you seem to be doing a great job keeping an eye on the big picture and reminding yourself that this is only temporary. On a completely unrelated note, how is Matt doing with school?

  8. I am loving how positive you are – I’m striving to do the same but still have no news on my hip, went for more xrays on friday. I did find out however, that I have osteoarthritis in my sacrum :( so I hope to keep this smile on my face like you! xoxox

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