I was not in the mood. No way. No how. The thought of running six miles was wholly unappealing. I was sore from my first week back to workouts, which included weight training for the first time in a month and my week of re-entry after vacation had me wanting for another vacation. Six miles? Really? But I don’t want to. Not today.
The first order of business was strength training with Maureen who put me through a tough but doable circuit. We worked my arms, shoulders and back without increasing my weight (thank you God), worked my legs efficiently but gently (my hamstrings were bothering me) and she tortured me slightly during my core work. As usual, I felt pretty good after my strength training and chatting with Maureen. I told her I had a six-mile run on the schedule and that I wasn’t terribly interested in doing it.
She reminded me of two things: 1. It’s my body, my life and my workout. If I’m tired or not feeling well, I can skip it. It won’t hurt me. 2. Often once we start and give ourselves a smaller target, we end up completing the whole workout anyway.
I work with a coach because I love the accountability and it’s one less thing I need to figure out during the week. I also love talking with someone whose job it is to keep me on target and keep my health and best interests in mind. That said, it’s nice to remember that ultimately I’m in control. I train because I want to. I love this. It’s part of who I am. And I am always, always in control of that.
Now, on to the actual run. Six miles? That sounded like a lot on my sore legs and for my tapped-out brain. I’ll aim for four miles, I thought. I’ll head to the gym, hop on the treadmill and get at least four miles in the books. But on the drive from Maureen’s House of Pain, I noticed two women running outside and they motivated me to rethink my plan. It was cool and damp and gray, but the wind wasn’t horrible and there was no rain. The treadmill sounded dreadful so instead, I drove home, put on my running kicks and hit the streets.
Four miles. Just go out and get four miles in. I went out at a nice, easy, light pace. I could still feel the tightness in my hamstrings, but no pain. So I trotted along. And I started to feel pretty good. Hmm. Maybe I can do a loop which is just over four miles. Yes, that’s doable. As I continued to run, at a nice easy jaunt, I felt pretty good. My estimation was that this route would give me 4.5 miles. I can round it off to five miles, no problem. I hit five miles and thought I still felt pretty good. Let’s get all six in.
And just like that I ran six miles. It wasn’t the fastest six miles I’ve ever run but it wasn’t the worst either. In fact, I started to smile broadly in that last mile. On a day when I didn’t want to run, on a day when I thought for sure I’d cut the workout short, I just kept moving and finished the whole damn thing. This is why it’s important to show up. Because you never know exactly what you’re capable of until you start.