Last we spoke, I was on an upswing. I’d lost a bad toenail and had two great runs, one of them being a fantastic 20 miler that Sunday. I am so pleased to report that the trend continued all through this week. My pace has held up nicely all week, even for a 12 miler on Wednesday and my fastest trail pace ever on Thursday. By Friday, my legs were screaming for a well deserved rest day. Saturday’s 6 was just the right amount of easy speed. Sunday’s 14 was slow but strong, just like a long run should be.
What set it all off this week was Tuesday’s run. So let’s talk about that.
This past Tuesday I woke up and, as I always do, weighed myself. The number that greeted me really made me sad. I’m not sure why though. Its the same damn number that’s been there since coming back from my beach vacation in May. I shot up about 5lbs around that time and I’ve done flat out nothing about it. Alas, I am a girl so I weigh myself each morning to get my daily serving of self loathing. I mean how else would I know what mood to put on, right? So I stuffed myself into my running shorts and dragged my lardy ass on over to the greenway just oozing with self-hatred. It was all very Eeyore and so embarrassingly typical girl crap. Which made me even pissier about it.
My legs were pretty damn tired still from Sunday’s fast paced (fast paced for me…do I always have to put that disclaimer? yeah, because again I’m a girl and I always pause to think, “Shit, I can’t call it a fast run. What if a true fast runner reads this and deems me a moron”) long run and I was feeling fat and angry. It was starting out so damn well. I decided I’d just do my 6 miles slow and easy, fuck everything.
About 1-1.5 miles in I look down and notice I’m actually moving really well. So I decide, fuck it, I’ll just run as fast as I can til the 5k mark. Then I can easy run it back. I got to the 5k mark in 26:50 (8:40 pace). A new PR for me and much faster than I ever run. (I haven’t done a 5k in 10 years and I used to walk them but still I’m counting this PR.) So I hit pause on the Garmin and basically flop around trying to breath again. Truly shocked that I managed to move that fast on such a crap day.
My mind went to my BRR teammates and how inspired I was by them. They lay it all out there in a race and leave every bit of energy on the course. They told stories of pushing so hard they threw up at the finish. Of hitting the wall so hard they were damn near hallucinating. I tend to hit the discomfort zone and shy away from it, fine with feeling challenged but scared to delve too far into the uncomfortable zone. ; But race day effort and PR’s, both distance and time, require you to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. To push so hard that you just barely make it across the line with your last bit of steam. To gamble that you might yak.
So then I think. Hmmm.
Again. Try it again.
Reset the Garmin and take off as fast as I can back to the start point.
I thought about the BRR team and how proud I feel to call people like that friends. In that moment I wanted, even if just for that moment, to be as strong and ass-kicking as they are. So I kept pushing, kept the speed up. And holy God did it hurt. It was a steady stream self pep talk. Probably out loud, actually, but I really didn’t care.
My legs are so sore. They can make it.
I think I might throw up. You might, who cares.
I’m so tired. You can rest when you’re done.
This is too fast for me. But you are doing it.
What if I can’t maintain this all the way in? What if you can?
26:09 (8:26 pace)
And I didn’t even heave once.
And for the rest of the day I really didn’t give a shit about that extra 5lbs.
And THAT, ladies and gentleman, is a “Why you run” moment.