Wednesday, September 15, 2010

You Got This Girl!

As usual, I started this morning steeped in apprehension over my planned run with Daisy. I don't know when I'll ever get over that feeling. I don't think...no I know it doesn't have anything to do with her. It's really all me. I don't think I'm as nervous when I plan to run alone, because in the back of my mind I know I can always slow down...walk...cut the run short even stop if I "need" to.  But, running with someone who is proven faster/better than me means I MUST do my best to do my very best.

I think most days I am worried that I won't do my best.  I don't even think it's as much a matter of not being ABLE to run a certain pace or distance.  I think it's more a matter of "knowing" or thinking I will "quit" before I really have to.

Again, this is the very reason I started training to run the marathon in the first place.  There is this thing out there that I can NOT reach without consistently training, without considerable planning and without perseverance.  It will not happen by chance.  It will not happen automatically.  It will not happen without pushing myself further than I point where I feel comfortable.  It will require more of me than I am used to giving....more than I may "want" to give, or feel like giving in the moment when it truly counts.  Sure, I can talk about it all day long, but am I willing to do more than I "want" to do??



So far, on most of my runs with Daisy, I have either felt good and kept going...or I have felt bad and "quit" early.  Monday, after my one mile stretch and my two mile walk break (at two miles, not two miles long)....I mentally decided that I would not stop and would not give in to the feeling that I needed to.  I mentally decided I would just keep going.  From mile 2 through the end (3.4), I pushed myself past the horrible section of the trail...I pushed myself through the section where I can see the gate that leads to the pavement...and I pushed myself along the paved "six minute" home stretch....and I pushed myself HARD up the little incline at the end. 

Monday it was hard.  Monday I had to keep the decision I had made after my walk break to not walk again, to not stop and to not give up in the very front of my mind.  Even in my incessant babbling, even in my intent interest in what Daisy had to say (because she provides just the BEST conversation)....I had to fight a mental battle, telling myself that I would NOT stop and I would NOT give up.  Kicking in a surge at the end, with every exhale, I had to say (although I'm sure incoherently), "FINISH STRONG".  Over and over until I was well past the "finish line". 

It felt hard.  Not so much the physical battle (although that felt hard, too), but the mental battle felt especially hard.  After it was over, I felt like I had really accomplished something--mentally even more than physically.

Today....after we got started and after I was able to somewhat let go of the gut-wrenching nervousness that I seem to put on along with my running shoes--but only on the days I'm joining someone else....felt pretty darn good.

There wasn't one time in the whole run that I ever felt like I needed to slow down or walk.  There were a couple of times I had to remind myself of Monday's mental victory.  There were a couple of times I had to will my feet to keep moving...but not for long.  Just before we got to the horrible section of trail, Daisy mentioned that was her least favorite spot, and mentally I started to nose dive because it really does STINK.  But, I remembered how it felt Monday when I realized I had gotten through it...and I quickly made the decision I wasn't going to think about it.

The only time my resolve started to waiver was when I knew the gate sighting was coming up.  I shored up my potentially waivering determination and congratulated myself in advance for the GREAT JOB I was about to do.  I mentally patted myself on the back and gave myself the "YOU CAN DO IT" cheer...and kept going.  It wasn't like Monday when I had to keep repeating the cheer in my head like a broken record...it was a one time shout out to myself.

When we got to the incline, Daisy's exhortation of "you got this girl" sounded in my head as if yelled through a megaphone....but it was MY VOICE this time!!  I said it to me!!  And, what's more, I meant it!!  I knew it was true.  I didn't wonder if I would make it.  I didn't have to remind myself.  I didn't have to battle any other voices in my head this time!  I knew I had it...and I "easily" finished strong.

It wasn't our best time, but it sure felt good!!!  Not good as in, "I just finished a really hard work out and I'm glad it's done/glad I did it" kind of way...but in a "that was just the exact right amount of tough (mentally speaking more than physical) to know I 'won' a battle, but not so tough I ever thought I would lose" kind of way.  Not sure if that makes sense to anyone but me....but, again, it felt really good!

You got this girl!!
Thanks for stopping in, come again soon. 

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