Thursday, July 1, 2010

Day 2: Motivation at the Start

"Some training runs are fun,
but other training runs-let's be honest-are not fun.
You struggle through them because you see the carrot dangling before your eyes."

Again? I have to run again? So soon? I did not realize when I decided to train for this marathon that I would have to run three days in a row, every single week. Every single Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday for 18 frickin' weeks. (Not to mention the long runs on Saturdays). So if I have a bad day on a Tuesday, like yesterday obviously, the result on Wednesday is kind of twofold. (1) I had a shitty run yesterday and do NOT feel like running again any time soon but (2) It could give me a chance to start fresh, run fresh and move on to the next run; to wipe the slate clean if you will. And that's exactly what happened today.

Yesterday, was abysmal. Let's be honest about that. I couldn't carry my fat ass up the hill in 90+ degree heat. But the weather gods were much kinder today --giving me a considerably cooler day, with less humidity. And the Toddy neurons were firing a little smarter today --giving me the sense to run my favorite 3 mile loop, that I've run dozens of times, and to run a little later in the day than yesterday. I also sprayed on a little sunscreen to my arms, legs and neck and wore a bigger, more breathable shirt. So better equipped and with better luck than yesterday, at about 4:15pm, I took off running...

Day 2 is another 3 mile run. And I had given myself permission to walk if I needed to, but I really didn't need to. I felt great. It's so mind boggling that one day you feel about a thousand pounds heavy and a thousand years aged and the next day your flying down the streets like a weightless, sprightly, prancing gazelle or something. What gives? I'm sure there is some scientific, biological, anatomical, nutritional, physical explanation. But I don't know anything about that. All I know is that yesterday I felt like crap and today I was enjoying my run.

I did walk a little bit, especially towards the end, and especially up the last hill. But I easily finished in around 30 minutes. I forgot to wear my watch altogether today but will try to remember tomorrow. That's a 10 minute per mile pace. Which really means I ran faster than 10 minutes per mile when I was running and then you add in the walking time. To all of you out there that run 6 minute miles or 8 minute miles I know you think I'm slow and lame. But to all of you out there just learning to run -- I know you are impressed or at least appreciative or understanding. So thanks.

In the cool air (well admittedly cool-er air, not necessarily actually cool), blasting my Glee soundtrack cover songs (e.g. "Don't Rain on My Parade" from the Regional competition episode) it felt pretty damn good to be moving my legs beneath me, breathing big gulps of air in and out of my lungs. It completely wiped out the paralyzed, inferiority of the day before.

So what's the moral of this particular blogs tale? Since I know we all strive to be awesomely wise like Aesop when we get the chance--Be Motivated. "Beginners need motivation to begin-and to keep at it once they have begun. The key factor in any beginner's training program is motivation" (HH, 33).

I did not want to run again today but I want to run this marathon. I have good reasons for doing it and I'm committed to doing it. So there's no choice really. Whether I wanted to run today or not, I had to run. Its part of the plan, its part of my program. And you can always tell yourself...I can walk the whole thing if need be, I just gotta lace up the kicks, get out there, and put in the miles...any which way I can. And chances are you won't walk the whole thing or even any of it -- because once you get out there and start moving one foot in front of the other, its not as daunting or impossible as it seemed just moments before. On days when "it may feel as if running will never get any better...Hang in there. It will...If you want to succeed in the marathon- or in any other activity in life-you need to be ready to pay the price" (HH, 40, 98). Are you? If so...

Come Run With Me.

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