Growing pains, right? Getting faster, running longer, needing to see and feel progress…it’s not supposed to be comfortable, I know that. Bad days hurt, but so do the good days. Why is that? I need frequent reminders that it’s okay to hurt – for both the good and the bad. I need reminders that anything worth ANYTHING can be downright painful. Isn’t that the definition of sacrifice? Sigh. So many questions fly through my little brain when I get on the treadmill and start moving my Tin Man body.
I wasn’t expecting to run today since we ran yesterday and CrossFitted on Saturday and I think we ran on Friday too. I’m not sure, I can’t remember that far back. Regardless, this would be my 3rd day in a row of exercise and I typically like to go in chunks of 2 days and rest every 3rd day. Today I decided that I’d have plenty of rest later this week with the short work week and all of the Thanksgiving stuffing I’m going to shove in my mouth so I should at least do an easy 2 miles on the mill, just to stay loose (haha, says the Tin Man). Still sore from my faux pistol squats and banded pull-ups during Saturday’s team WOD, I pressed on and warmed up at a very comfortable 5.0 pace. I told myself “Self, it’s just 2 miles. You can hop off in 25 minutes.” This is how I get myself on the treadmill, I tell myself to run at 5.0 for 2 miles then I can be done. I can literally trick myself every time into doing this. I don’t know how, but it works. Somehow I secretly know that if I can get to 2 miles, the likelihood that I actually to go 3 or 4 or 5 is really good and if I stay at 5.0 on the treadmill I get bored so I always bump up. But if I stop at 2? No harm, no foul; it’s what I intended to do. I kept warming up and was kind of happy to have only my music blaring in my ears. I was blissed out in my head with my Spotify playlist going strong by 1.5 miles. I sang loud in agreement with Pitbull and Ne-Yo as they took me to church with Time of Our Lives.
“….Er’body goin’ through somethin’ (er-body goin’ through somethin’) Say you might as well roll it up,
Pour it up, drink it up, throw it up tonight”
I threw my hands up in understanding, lost my balance a bit, and came back to it. I slowed down to get a drink as Pitbull reminded me:
“This is for anybody going through tough times
Believe it, been there, done that
But everyday above ground is a great day, remember that.”
Oh yeah, Pitbull. Give it to me. I started fantasizing for a minute about his bald head and then a text message popped up from my daughter on my phone. I snapped back to reality. It was the first day of Winter Track practice and she was so nervous. It was a brief but powerful little conversation (at least on my end I thought it was). Clearly seen in her eye roll emoji, she didn’t care.
It was okay that this was the conversation, she is a teenager after all and I was essentially talking to myself. I was telling Charlotte what I wanted to hear: embrace the suck, feel like you’re going to die, and then marinade in the awesomeness that comes after that. Just get to the afterglow I told myself. It’s not that far away. I put my phone down just in time for Katy Perry’s Rise to come on. I got goose bumps at the first two lines:
“I won’t just survive, oh, you will see me thrive…”
This is it. Kismet. You’re supposed to push yourself now… I started to increase my speed, I let myself breath harder and faster as she kept singing. I went to another place in my mind where my legs moved, they started to burn, and I just accepted it. I was at 7 on the treadmill (8:35 min/mile pace which is intense for me for longer intervals). I made it through a quarter mile. I debated for a few seconds on whether or not to go back to my comfortable 10 min/mile pace for the next quarter mile…
“Oh, ye of so little faith
Don’t doubt it, don’t doubt it
Victory is in your veins”
No…. No backing down. Not this time…. Get over this fear of the burn. Get over the fear of jagged breathing. You can do more.
“You know it, you know it
And you will not negotiate
Just fight it, just fight it
And be transformed….”
I completed a half mile at that 8:30 pace. I am very impressed with myself. I don’t believe I’ve ever made it that far on the treadmill at that speed. .35 miles into it I was really struggling, I could feel my form starting to fall apart, but I held it together and stayed focused on the goal.
Gasping for breath I slowed down to a 3.o after I got to the half mile mark. I was sweatier than ever and smiling at myself as I recovered. I wound up finishing 4 miles really strong. I was proud of myself. I haven’t felt this feeling in a while. It felt almost like a new feeling. As I danced my way through my cool down to Cheap Thrills at 1.0 I told myself tomorrow won’t feel as scary. Good or bad, it’ll be worth it.
Tomorrow…. Oh, tomorrow…Tomorrow is a run before CrossFit day. A 4:50am start time, grab your headlamp, wear your light up vest, and bust out the reflective gear kind of day… It’s a chase the moon and watch the sunrise with your buds kind of day….
Oh, that’ll be worth it for sure.
Blaze your trail of awesomeness,