Mondays Suck … But Tonight’s Run Definitely Didn’t.

Nobody likes Mondays. It means the weekend is over. We have to get up early and go back to work (or school). So how have I managed to make them a little less painful?

I’ve tried to make Mondays one of my running days. Because of my teaching schedule, I only have time to run two – three if I’m lucky – times during the week, and I like to make the most of them. Tonight, I have to say, was a great one. The fastest, best feeling run I’ve had in a really long time.

Let me be clear about one thing: I was not born a runner. I’m very honest about the fact that I was that girl in high school who thought running a mile in gym class would kill me (and I didn’t like that sweat would mess up my hair. How times have changed …). Even when I started running in college on my own will, it was not an easy thing. Did I enjoy it? Eventually. And even once I started to get comfortable with three, four, five miles, I was never very fast. I’m pretty sure that for the first year I was running, I averaged somewhere around a 12 minute mile.

Which leads me back to today’s run. Like I said, I have worked hard to take those seconds, and eventually minutes, off of my miles. I had a feeling it was going to be a good run today when the first three miles went by pretty quickly, my heart rate wasn’t getting uncomfortably high and my breathing heavy to the point where it was uncontrolled. I was kind of in the zone for most of it. Like with anything else in my life, I tend to get bored quickly, so I’m constantly playing with the speed on the treadmill. When I finished three miles around the 26:30 mark, I knew I was doing okay. When I hit five at about 44:15, I was pretty confident seven miles was on the agenda. It was. And it was done in about 61:30. Which meant I was averaging around an 8:45 mile for all seven miles.

As I mentioned before, I am definitely not a born runner – but I have made myself into one. It’s taken time, and it’s taking determination to push myself, and it’s taken a lot of the “when I get to X or Y, whatever’s last” game, to get me to where I am today. It’s taken rebuilding gradually after injuries (more than I’d like to admit to myself). But I’ve cut minutes off of my mile times. I’ve gone miles further than I would have ever imagined I could have 10 or 15 years ago. And I have grown to love running.

Bottom line? If I can be a runner, so can you. You just have to believe, and push, and tell yourself you can do it. Before long, you could be looking forward to Mondays – if for no other reason than a great run – to look forward to.

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