Wednesday, March 03, 2010

A reward a long time coming

I had a breakthrough tonight. An honest to goodness pivotal point on which I think I'll be able to mentally reference in future periods of time. The moment came on the treadmill around mile 3; one water bottle down and three miles left to run. My pace was steady and I had this heady surge of ability. I've written (too many times to keep referencing) how I don't consider myself a "runner" and don't enjoy doing it.

Tonight, however, I felt strong. I'm in my second week of training for this year's Half marathon; and though I didn't start pounding out miles until last week, I've had consistent cardio exercise at least twice a week since the first of the year. The payoff has been faster mile averages (>1:00!) and the ability to push myself farther than my mental self believes I should be able to go. For the first time in a long time (if ever), my physical self is stronger than my mental self.

In fact, I'm loving the minutes of mental rest. To take it all in and quit worrying things out in my mind. I feel better prepared to face the individual challenges of life when I walk out of that gym.

Now before you write this off as one of those annoying "runner's blogs" (because I totally would; I hate these kinds of posts), please know that I still loathe running. I'd rather stay home with my feet up eating junky food by the fistful. The lesson I'm taking from these four paragraphs and the 68 minutes I spent profusely sweating this evening is that we can train ourselves to do things we hate. As humans, we're able to make peace with the challenges or situations we find ourselves in--and we might still hate every second of every step--but the mental clarity that comes when we apply ourselves to conquering fear or circumstance is a gift that comes no other way.

Perseverance. Otherwise known as "runner's high."


Mary said...

Okay, I must comment on this, because I too am in training for a race: the Wasatch Back relay in June. It's forced me to get on a training schedule, and today was the weirdest thing.

I started out so weak sauce, I was sure I would not be able to complete the allotted set of miles to run. I was panting, seriously straining during the first 15 minutes. And then I stopped thinking about the pain and the fatigue, and eased back my pace a bit, and allowed my mind to wander. I was amazed.

The fact that I hate(d) running is precisely the reason I still run. I want to master my fears and prove to myself that hard things are worth doing. It's done wonders for my spirit.

Sorry. I guess all I needed to say here was: DITTO, dude.

Nat Attack said...

Nice Mary! I've heard only good things about the Wasatch--in fact it's one I've always wanted to run! May your feet be swift and your will power mighty! :D XO.

ju said...

And may this bowl of cereal I'm eating at 4:15PM be at least high in fiber.

Definitely, maybe, probaby related posts:

If NatA! posted a photo with this blog, here it is!