Now is not the time to obsess over the pace flashed before my eyes every time I glance down at the Garmin. Now is not the time to dream about Boston, or to think about the people I can run faster than, or even worse, those who can run faster than me. Nope. Now is the time to give in to the dreaded heart rate training zone 2, and teach my body to be a well oiled endurance machine. Even if it comes at the sacrifice of 10, 11, 12+ minute miles, with *gasp* walk breaks so I will be able to survive a 5 hour/ 4 hour double over a weekend. Now is the time to prevent injury, not break PR’s.
Who cares if you can run a 21 minute 5k, if your legs give out at mile 27, it does you no good. Get over yourself, Heather….you’re gonna run SLOW. Embrace it.
And while we are at it, you know what else is humbling?
And I don’t mean flat, wide, well groomed, but not “paved” roads. I mean honest to goodness, single track, with roots and rocks and trees and streams and a ton of mud…all covered with freshly fallen leaves so you have no idea what’s underneath….trails.
Last night, I joined some local runners for a trail run…in the dark. Long story short, lit only by the glow of our headlamps and the beautiful *almost* full moon, that trail kicked my a$$. In a good way of course. My lungs and legs (honestly, who does Insanity 2 hours before a trail run?) SCREAMED at the first 2 miles that were straight uphill. Not being able to keep up with others even while pushing your limits is humbling. Though a relief to my lungs, I tried my hardest not to fall on the downhills. And towards the very end, right when I was really feeling like maybe I could earn some nimble mountain goat legs after all…the trail stuck a root out and tripped me. Nothing like a face plant into the mud (and an incredibly bruised kneecap this morning) to put you back into your place.
But I, of course, loved every second of it. Even today, when I feel like I took a baseball bat to the knee, and had an elephant stomped on my left foot, I still loved it.
And so, the journey continues. Fall down, pick yourself back up. Literally or emotionally, just get back up. It’s the only way you will make it to the finish line.
(and here is Step One, incase you missed it)