on taking flight
I woke up Thursday morning with a plan to run 10 miles. The night before I was excited, looking forward to it, ready. I had taken it easy the day before, only running two miles and sticking to strength stuff. My legs were fresh and I wanted to bang out 10 good ones before getting on with my day.
And then I woke up and absolutely did not want to run. I was not having my 6am alarm. I was not having the whole “it’s dark outside” thing. My feet were cold. I was really, really tired.
I got up. Stumbled to put on the hot water. Went to the New York Times. Checked my email, sipped my coffee. I was now dreading the run, trying to figure out if it was raining, wondering if my Garmin was charged, or if I even had a clean sports bra. And then I realized – Laur – you don’t have to run. If you don’t feel like running, just go back to bed.
One of my initial goals when I started writing in my BIA training journal was to stop being so hard on myself. I quickly get excited about a lot of things and make grandiose plans in my mind; since I don’t have a running coach, or any real set schedule, I kind of make up workouts in my mind the night before and try to stick to them. (For ie, why I wanted to run ten miles instead of seven or eight, I have no clue.) Some people need others to stay accountable, yet I think my strictest coach is myself. (Where’s the #gowiththeflow Joc, Molly, Corey ?!)
So rather than running, I wrote. I wrote in my journal what I was feeling, and why I didn’t want to run, and explaining why it was totally fine — that I could run tomorrow if my head was in it, if my heart was in it. I took a peek at my journal to see what my training had been that week (I have never logged my workout schedule, so this was the first time I was seeing it all on paper) and could muse why I was feeling shot. Since peak training for Wineglass, I had fallen off the strength training train. I went back on it this week, but hadn’t realized I lifted three times in six days. Was that the culprit for my tired body and worn out head? Maybe. Who knows. Either way, I took off Thursday and enjoyed the rest. I told myself if I woke up on Friday and felt up to it, I’d try again.
On Thursday night I got a record of 9 1/2 hours of sleep, and when my alarm went off, I felt like my normal self. I jumped out of bed, did the whole coffee thing, had a small breakfast, and most importantly, was looking forward to running. I told myself I’d head over the bridge and go down the East Side Highway. If I felt great, I’d go five miles before turning around. If I wasn’t, I’d turn around whenever I felt like it. No big.
Luckily, and most likely because I had taken the prior day off, I felt wonderful. I was running slightly under sub 8 pace, which felt really comfortable. I ran over the Williamsburg bridge, downtown, through South Street Seaport, and to South Ferry. That was about five miles. I said hello to all the Staten Island commuters, and headed back. By mile seven, I was getting a bit tired at the pace I was at, but told myself, “self! Pushing a bit now will only make you stronger.” “It’s OK to go outside your comfort zone.” (Another goal I had made.) I was FULL of mantras at this point, but my favorite was probably, “You can slow down in a little bit. Just not right now.”
Long story not-too-short, I finished the 10 miles with an avg 7:59 pace, felt strong, and loved pretty much every step I took. As I wrote in my journal, “I ran this morning because I wanted to and my heart was in it.”
So thank you Believe I Am for reminding me it’s okay to slow down, that rest is so important, and if I don’t feel like running, I absolutely do not need to. I should just listen to my body and my head.
And when I am willing, I will take flight.