Mama D and I had 10 miles on the list to do this morning. I was anxious about it all weekend as if I’d never done this before. I’ll admit, I didn’t want to do it… Again. It was another long run that I was dreading. My mental game has really been off lately and I started wondering if I’ve got training burn out. Last night the weather app said there would be 80% chance of rain between 6am-8am with the potential for heavy periods. Ugh. Our fingers were crossed that we’d at least be able to do 5 outside and then 5 on the treadmill at the YMCA. That would at least break it up enough so that it didn’t feel like complete torture.
My phone buzzed and chimed as alarm went off. I sleepily opened my eyes, my body still paralyzed and mind sedated. In the stillness and the darkness I assessed myself and my surroundings. I was not sore, but I didn’t feel rested. Not enough of a reason to stay under the covers. The house was still perfectly silent. A dog was snoring next to me. And then it registered…the rhythmic pitter patter of the rain steadily beating on the roof. *sigh* I was so cozy. I was so sleepy. I was so perfectly warm and cocooned in my blankets.
I was so not running outside in that. I was so not running 10 miles inside on the dreadmill.
I could stay here for another hour, I thought. If I don’t move maybe no one will find me and I could just stay here in my own little womb. Mama D would understand, right?
But what would she say? What would Mama C say? She’s running 10 miles alone in Florida this morning. I had to get up and at least show up. I decided I could do the 5 on the treadmill that I was planning to do. The other 5 be damned. I could do those later if I really wanted to. Or not. Just show up I told myself. Just get there.
Mama D was already a mile into her run when I finally arrived at the fitness center, grumpy as ever already because I couldn’t find headphones. And dammit I needed headphones if I am going to be on the treadmill for at least an hour. I didn’t want to be alone with my own thoughts today. I couldn’t handle them and their games.
I got started and just walked as I spilled my guts to Mama D about what my stressors were already today (it was still dark out- what could I possibly be stressed about? Believe me, there were plenty). I started my slog and relied heavily on this affirmation: You are strong. You are able. Finish the mile you’re in.
I barely made it to 2 miles and then slurped down a GU. Maybe that’s all I needed… Nope. Slogging and groaning my way to 4 miles, my mind screamed ENOUGH ALREADY! I was unfocused and mentally dragging. Mama D’s switch was flipped to “on” so she was moving right along in her zone of awesomeness. I decided to hop off the treadmill and break up my miles – did I really have to run all 10? Yeah. I should’ve, but… I climbed onto the bike. And took some pics of Mama D taking pictures of me.
I sweated and grunted my way through 6 miles on the bike. It felt good not to be running.
I hopped off the bike and looked back at the row of treadmills. Mama D was almost at 9 miles. She really is my hero…..Nope….No. Still not ready to run. I grabbed another GU, sucked it down, and started rowing. About 8 minutes and a mile later I looked over at Mama D who was slowing down to a walk. She made it, that hero of mine.
I decided it was time to finish my running. I felt more awake; the sugar and caffeine put me in a better mood. Mama D took a “cool down” lap to a new level and ran another mile so I wouldn’t have to be alone. She left and I finished my 2nd mile on the treadmill. That was plenty. My workout was complete. 6 miles running, 6 miles cycling, 1 mile rowing. I complimented a neighboring runner’s pants and I got the hell out of that fitness center as fast as I could (which was a slow, sweaty walk).
As I was walking through the lobby toward the automatic sliding doors to exit the building I saw an old woman approaching the same doors to enter. She was walking so slowly with a cane. She didn’t alternate feet with her steps to walk fluidly; she took one small step and brought her back foot forward to meet her front foot. I stopped and watched her in humble admiration. She was working so hard just to make it into the Y. The scarf tied around her head didn’t stop the rain from soaking her hair, but she kept moving forward one step at a time toward the doors. My spirit was moved and I was thankful for all that my body can, has done, and will do. I was thankful for the opportunity to run, jump, row, bike, and walk this morning. I was thankful for being present enough to take a moment to honor that woman’s journey. I was grateful that I showed up just like she was doing. My lesson for today was that you never truly know what you’ll experience when you wake up and show up, so don’t ever question it again.
– Mama K
PS- check out the amazing Mama C