Monday, July 26, 2010

When You Least Expect

It would be a tad too optimistic to claim that my recent slump is over, but I have made an unexpected breakthrough!

Saturday's "excessive heat warning" joined forces with severe nasal/sinus congestion to leave me feeling more beat down than ever yesterday. I was dreading my evening run, convinced it could only go poorly.

As I laced up my fancy sneakers, my racing dreams seemed worlds away. I tried to give myself a pep talk, but the best I could conjure was a list of cliches: "Fake it 'till you make it;" "Go through the motions;" "Just do it."

My expectations were low when I stepped onto the treadmill. The plan was to run my 21 minutes in two blocks with 3 minutes of walking in the middle. I wanted the first run to be at least 11 minutes long so the second run would be shorter than the first. The farther I got past 11, the better...but in truth I doubted my ability to complete the 21 minutes with only one walking break.

As soon as I started running, something just clicked in my head. Without any drama or fanfare, I said to myself, "I'm just going to run the whole thing straight through. I don't think I CAN do it...but I just WILL." It was as simple as that decision. And I did it. I DID.

Now, I know that running 21 minutes at 5mph is no great athletic feat. The true victory for me last night was mental. My body was clearly capable of completing the run, but what had been suffering in recent weeks was my mind. I hope this breakthrough gives me enough momentum to get back on track. I have until August 3rd to register for the 5K I want to do before the price goes up, so this is the week when I need to be mentally strong enough to commit.

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