Becoming a bad ass on the track

While the  forecast sounded dreadful I peaked outside my window and it didn’t look too bad. Sure, the weather prognosticators were calling for some snow and rain this morning. But right now it was pretty clear. And let’s face it, I was not in the mood for the treadmill. So I got myself together and headed to the track for my weekly interval workout.

This was only my second track workout in about a month as travel interrupted my training schedule. I was a bit nervous. My 600-meter intervals weren’t at a killer pace, but my body was still getting back into the swing of consistent, hard training and speed has not been my forte lately. After my warmup, I took my jacket off and lined up for my first interval. Spot on. It was challenging, but I knew I could do this. Nos. 2 and 3 were hard but I went a few seconds faster.

Then came No. 4. The wind started to pick up. Precipitation began to fall. I’m not quite sure what it was technically — some hybrid of freezing rain/sleet. My mind started to wander, but I brought it back to center. I repeated the words that serve as my track mantras. Focus. Fearless. As I walked my rest interval I thought about my workout. I had seven of these intervals on my plan for the day. I had just finished four. What if I just get to five? That would be good enough.

As I started No. 5 the  sleet stated to pick up. I had entered that phase of a track workout which I’ve deemed “pushing back the puke factor.” I made my interval time, walked across the infield and lined up for No. 6.

Wait! What about that thought of just getting five done? I decided not to follow that train of thought. I decided to keep going. The sleet had now turned to light, wet snow. This was a challenge. This was out of my comfort zone. This would make me stronger. This was bad ass. On interval No. 6, I encountered some stronger winds. On interval No. 7, it was all about finishing. Just finishing. I was one second slower than my goal time. Big whoop. I ran that one in wind and a snow squall.  I win.

My good friend Hitch has a favorite saying: “Easy days easy. Hard days hard.” And today was a hard day. And the important thing to remember in hard days is that it’s not about doing each interval perfectly. It’s about effort. It’s about attitude. It’s about keeping your wits about you even if your pace falls off, the wind picks up or freezing rain starts to fall. The hard days remind you that truly there is nothing you can’t handle. You are bad ass. You just have to believe it.

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