Some Days, You’re Stronger than You Think

Sometimes we all have those days. Those “this is going to be ugly” thoughts. Those “please just let me make it through this today” moments. That’s where I was as I stepped on the treadmill this morning.

Perhaps I should back up a little. I’ve been running really well the last several months, after having to go through another slow rebuild following the injury of 2012 (stress reaction in my foot in February. I’d never heard of it, but apparently I was about as close as I could have gotten to breaking it without actually breaking it). I’ve shed a few seconds, added a few miles, and seen my heart rate start to drop a couple beats throughout the last several months. I was finally back where I really wanted to be. Running felt great.

And then I went home for Christmas. Full disclosure: I made it to the treadmill twice and the gym once in the span of a week. Granted, I typically only have the time to run twice a week, so this shouldn’t have been a big deal from a running standpoint … except that those two runs SUCKED. We’re talking thought running 5k straight was going to kill me.

So naturally, as I stepped onto the treadmill following my weights this morning, I fully expected to see that I had digressed during the holiday season. I told myself, just make it to 5k. That’s all you have to do, and we’ll do some intervals or something to make up for it. I made it that 5k, feeling pretty strong still, heart rate wasn’t too high, breathing was good.

Okay, let’s bump it up to 5 miles (I should note that this is the way my brain progresses while running. 5k, 5 miles, 10k, 7 miles … and it’s been about four years since I’ve found it necessary to venture longer than 7 … mostly because that’s about where the treadmill hits the hour mark and stops on me). Five miles down, still feeling pretty good. Let’s make it to 10k. Once I hit about 5.75, I knew I was going to have to accept that this was, despite my not expecting it, a 7 mile day.

And it really wasn’t until I hit about 6.6 or so that I started to get a little bit of an ache in my hip (Can I blame it on running longer distances than I did in my 20s, rather than saying it’s because my body doesn’t like what I put it through as much in my 30s? Yes, we’re going with that.) Before I knew it, I had 7 miles behind me. Just under 61:30. Felt pretty good. And it was absolutely the last thing I was expecting to happen this morning.

What did I learn today? Some days, regardless of how much you think you’re going to have to talk yourself up, the body can override the brain in a good way … even on the days that you don’t expect it.