During my second running-heavy workout over at American River CrossFit I think I may have shook my head and mumbled something about these people trying to kill me under my breath. It was 4 or 5 rounds of lifting heavy things broken up with 800 meter (1/2 mile) runs in between, and it was a pretty accurate recipe for torture, I was sure. I was also sure I probably couldn’t do it because I was NOT a runner.
Somewhere amidst all of that negative self-talk I heard our coach Chad say “You don’t have to sprint the 800 meters, do it at any speed you like: the run is for recovery.” And in that moment I was fairly certain he was one egg short of a dozen because -- honest to god -- who the hell RUNS FOR RECOVERY, BUDDY?!?!
Today is a Monday, and as such I’ve jumped the typical hurdles -- the most notably suck-tastic was the sleepy pull of Daylight Savings when my alarm went off at 4:30am. But despite the temptation I fought the sandman, enjoyed a cup of coffee (what? I needed some heavy artillery for that fight), did a few chores around the house, and then put my running clothes on and headed into work early for another throwdown with the treadmill.
The treadmill is not my favorite way to run. In fact the hamster wheel style frustration of moving your body over and over and never getting anywhere can really be an additional mental struggle for me -- and frankly, I’m already busy enough in that department. When I hopped on this morning, I was, unsurprisingly -- Not Feeling It. I usually try to get into the music, tell myself stories, plan menus (Fat Kid, holla!), remember movie quotes – whatever I can do to get through, you know?
Today, I practically composed this blog post in my mind.
I thought a lot about how 7 months ago I never would have signed up to even run this half-marathon. And in the middle of that I realized that this first mile was feeling awesome. Then I thought about all the excuses I used to make for why I hated running. My former self would not even recognize this person who was booking-it by choice, without another person chasing them. And in the middle of that, I realized that I hadn't even had that feeling of working at high intensity yet. So I turned up the pace up a notch and kept pushing. And because I was still cruising, I did it again. I kept pushing and pushing until it felt super tough, but even then I didn't want to quit, I just made a few adjustments and kept going.
And 3 miles later I wondered, why was I ever even worried about my own abilities?
I am dedicated.
I am strong.
I'm not a quitter.
I can achieve this goal if I try.
I can be a runner if I want to be.
And when I stepped off that treadmill and headed into the locker room endorphins firing, positivity brimming, and dripping with the intensity of someone who has been singularly focused for the past 40 minutes– well what do you know?
A part of me felt recovered.