The numbers on the digital display panel had just flipped to 1.00. I had a hit the second mile of my crazy brick workout. I hit stop, jumped my feet to straddle the moving belt, grabbed my water bottle and prepared to head back to the stationary bike to begin my third and final round of bike-run intervals. The only thing was, just because I hit stop on the treadmill didn’t mean that the belt instantaneously stopped moving. So as I stepped back onto the belt to take a swig of water, the treadmill, well, threw me off.
I circled and danced and desperately searched for my balance and solid ground. The good news was I did not face plant though I was pretty darn close to landing sprawled out, half on the treadmill, half on the fitness club floor. Subtle, however, the move was not. There was no hoping that “maybe no one saw.” I shrugged off my graceful and lovely move, and headed back to the bike with “Mr. Brightside” by the Killers playing through my iPod.
I didn’t really have time to be embarrassed.
There was one more 15-minutes of tempo work on the bike to do before hopping back on the treadmill for one last mile, this time at my half-marathon race pace.
I breezed through the bike, using it mostly as recovery after each run and then amping it up near the end of the interval. The run intervals were a different story. The assigned paces were quick and even though I only had to run them for a mile, it was a bit of a daunting challenge. The first set went by without much trouble. The second set was harder and followed by my not-so-graceful exit from the treadmill.
The third and final set, well, that would be the challenge. Quickest pace yet and one that I wasn’t sure I could sustain. A mile isn’t very long (at least for us endurance junkie types) and I knew I could get through it. I eased into the final mile, gaining speed each 30 seconds until I was at my goal pace. It was hard. My legs were OK, but my core was most definitely on fire and I had to concentrate more on my breathing than on the lyrical magic of will.I.am and Britney Spears. Once I arrived at the magic pace number, I thought about playing with my speed in order to get through this final mile. Maybe 40 seconds at pace then bump it down for 40 seconds. I started to make deals with myself. Only a funny thing happened. I never changed my speed. Once I got to my goal pace, I stayed there until mercifully the magical display counter noted I had finished the requisite mile. I lifted my arms in triumph on the treadmill. Because really, I had already almost fallen off. There was no longer the possibility of blending into the background. Might as well own it.
Here is what today’s workout reminded me:
- Don’t step on a moving treadmill belt unless you, too, are intending to move.
- I will do stupid things in front of people. I can be embarrassed or I can own it.
- I can do hard things.