Do people ever ask you why you run? I have people ask me all the time why I run... I never know how to explain it to a non-runner. It's tough right? I've just recently started calling myself a runner - if the shoe fits correct? Let's face it, I have rainy day running shoes, my shoes for the gym only, a pair of oldies but goodies for superstitious days & new ones that I am breaking in on my long run day. I think anyone with that many running shoes that look like they get used - is a runner.
I was ready for today's workout - or rather I thought I was. I was rested, I had some time to myself this morning to properly stretch & go through the motions. By "motions" I mean my son woke us up at 7:10 because our alarm didn't go off & he was 10 minutes away from having to be at the bus. Naturally we ended up driving him (enter race long sleeve tshirt, running hat & a pair of throw away sweats) - fashionable right. So awesome I wore it to Starbucks to get coffee before dropping off the husband. I got home around 8:30 & spent the next few hours mentally prepping for my hill repeat workout i.e. catching up on DVR'd episodes of Private Practice & half of a Big Bang Theory episode that I conked out during last night.
After some dynamic stretching I got dressed for the gym & headed out the door. Hopped on a treadmill, entered in my options & got started. Somewhere into that first hill cycle that damn wall popped up. We runners know what I am talking about. The wall that pops up & tells you to stop, to stop what you are doing right now, that you don't really want to be doing what you are doing. Sometimes I get through that feeling by getting through a few rounds & forcing the thoughts out of my mind. Sometimes I bag a workout knowing that the next one will be better. Sometimes all an intense workout will do is bring up everything that has been bubbling under the surface. Today that is what happened. I couldn't force it out of my brain. I wanted to give up or rather the little voice - negative nelly - wanted me to believe I wanted to stop. Stopping would not get me to my goal though, so today I regrouped - I told myself I would at least do 3 of the 6 efforts I had planned & see how I felt then. Then effort 4 reared it's ugly head. I gave up half way through... but I battled to stay on that treadmill, tried again on effort 5 - made it 2 minutes into my 3 minute hill. I ripped out my earbuds & stopped my music & just walked to the beat of my own thoughts. I prepped myself for the 6th effort, I told myself I would at least do 2 minutes knowing I would push for that 3rd minute & complete my workout on a strong note. I did complete the 6th one, there were a few seconds around 1:30 or so where Nelly tried to tell me 2 minutes was enough... but I knew I wanted the 3 & I got it.
It's not that the workout was too tough physically. Although now my legs are saying to me - hey smartypants yesterday's circuit class + an hour of PT (hamstring & glute strengthening) wasn't maybe the brightest before an intense hill workout? Maybe possibly?! There are times where I still struggle between the nearly 300lb me & this me. Today I was the new me, the strong me, the me that goes after her goal & doesn't back down when it gets hard. So that is why I run, it makes me tough - mentally. And well, if the zombies ever do come for us... I know that I won't be the last one in the race to get away.
Why do you run?
How do you get through a challenging workout?