Jess, one of my blogging friends, writes such heartfelt, introspective posts, and they are usually on things that I am mulling over at the same time (I swear we are telepathically connected). She recently told me to just throw whatever is going on in my head out there and don't think about it. Just write. She says its cathartic, so here I go… During last week’s race a lot of things were going through my head. Mostly about how I feel like I’ve had a mental block this entire year. Like there’s been something inside of me that holds me back. Like I defeat myself. For lack of a better term, I call it “mental laziness.”
Over the past year, in multiple aspects of my life, I’ve feel like I could’ve done better. I could’ve dug deeper and accomplished more. Believe me, I’ve tried. I’ve tried many times, but I just didn’t have the fight in me.
And it’s maddening. I hate to make excuses, but I honestly think it’s because I drove myself into the ground the 2 previous years. I was doing high intensity workouts twice a day, with my “rest” days being one workout on Saturday and Sunday. It was exhausting. Not just the workout itself, but also the stress of managing the schedule and my life around it. In hindsight, I mostly did it for the social aspect (to see different friends at different workouts), but it wore me out. And apparently it’s taken me an entire year to recover from it.
So during last week’s race, as I trudged along, annoyed with myself, I made resolutions. Typical stuff like, “no more excessive sweets”, and “I'm going to do core for 40 days and 40 nights (that’s a little exaggerated, but you get the idea).
But I also resolved to find my inner drive, that mental toughness that I’ve felt I’ve been missing; to be disciplined and rebuff laziness. Dig deep. And why wait until January 1st when I could start now?
Which brings me to today. The perfect opportunity to put my money where my mouth is.
I woke up at 6ish this morning to the sound of heavy rain and howling wind. I knew that this was forecast, but I secretly hoped it was wrong. I had a 13-mile run scheduled and this just wasn’t the weather for it. I wished I had done it yesterday instead. But oh well, nothing I could do about now…except not do it, right?
I lay in bed for THREE HOURS mulling my options. I couldn’t not do it. I could go to the gym and hit the dreadmill (yuck). I could just get a few miles in and call it a day. Or I could brave the weather and just do it.
THREE hours people.
I called a friend to see if she wanted to go with and got voicemail (probably anticipating and avoiding my call). I texted my cousin Michi who responded with, “You can handle it.” I asked Ron what he was doing and he said he was waiting out the weather. I texted Josh, my running coach, looking for approval to do a shorter distance to which he pretty much said no and to “man up.”
I finally made myself peek out the window and saw that it had stopped raining so I came up with a plan:
Run the miles at the high school track.
1. It’s one notch better than the treadmill. 2. My stomach had been a little upset and there were bathrooms there (though it turned out to be a non-issue) 3. My legs had been hurting a little last week, so the softer surface would be kinder to my body. 4. If the weather got really bad, my car would be right there and I wouldn’t be stuck out on the roads or a trail somewhere.
So I pulled myself together, bundled up, and headed out the door. It was very windy the entire time, but the run went something like this:
- Miles 1-4: these are always death for me - Mile 5: finally felt warmed up and in some kind of rhythm - Miles 6-10: POURING rain and still WINDY.
Actually, Miles 8 and 9 were the toughest ones. I wanted to quit. People had come after me, and left before me, and I was still there – going round and round. I started to think of excuses of why I had to quit, but I dug deep to find the resolve to keep going.
- Miles 10-13.1: the rain stopped, but it was still windy and since I had gotten soaked, I also got cold – really cold. These turned out to be my fastest miles because I just wanted the whole darn thing over with. My teeth were chattering uncontrollably.
But once I was done, I felt really good. Inside and out.
I remember a quote (or perhaps it was an ad) that I read that said, “I will become my own inspiration.” And that’s my resolve – and I plan to have fun doing it!
PS In case you’re wondering, I broke up the monotony of running 13.1 miles on the track by switching directions every mile – a little tip that a physical therapist once gave me.