Yesterday I was faced with a challenge. My 1/2 marathon race is one month from yesterday. I'm still needing training. Lots of training. I don't feel completely ready. I'm ready enough to walk/run for 13.1 miles. I'm not ready to run/run for 13.1 miles. Part of my training is cross training. Cross-training is biking or using an elliptical or some other form of cardiovascular exercise for a specified amount of time. Yesterday's prescribed cross-training was for 30-60 minutes.
I was sipping some coffee, holding Darby, and starting to knit a pair of gloves. It was cold and morning. I'm not a fan of either cold or morning. I was so content just knitting and having the dog warm my lap. A little voice started whispering in my ear that I needed to run. This voice is one that I hear when I really need encouragement. This is the mental voice that I have applied to my friend in New Mexico. I've never heard her real voice. She is there though. She is there when I need to really just get it in gear. So I consented and decided that an hour on the bike knitting would be a fabulous fun way to spend the morning. I was thinking more about the knitting than the biking.
By the time I made it from the couch to the kitchen to put up my coffee cup and pick up my phone for timing my cardio she was yelling. She had a group of friends with her too. I realized that in those few seconds that if I really want to run/run I have to kick in the serious stuff. I have to put aside the mellow knitting cardio for my after long run breaks. I promptly went and donned my running gear and headed to the gym for a session on the elliptical.
The elliptical session was transformational! At the 15 minute mark I wanted to quit. Now you have to understand that the elliptical trainer I'm using is an old one. It was designed to mimic running as close to running as possible. It is a beast. It is like jogging uphill against the wind. So I started bargaining with myself. If I could make it to the 30 minute mark I could call it a 3 mile run. I was sweaty and ready to stop again at the 25 minute mark. Not close enough.
Somehow at 27 minutes I realized that I have been running the beginning of this race over and over and over. I have not made it to the end. I have not run farther than the 8.5 mile mark. Yesterday I wanted to finally finish the race. So I decided that my running would be the end of the race not the beginning. I had renewed strength. I pushed through. At 40 minutes I was almost to the point where my coach would be done with her current training session and come talk to me. I negotiated 45 minutes or when she came to talk to me which ever came first. At 45 I negotiated for the 50 minutes. At 50 I stopped. I had no fuel left. I was so hungry and tired I had to stop. It was this point she finally came to tell me how impressed she was.
I dug deep. I found my source. I have moved into owning my goal. For now the goal is to finish the race in February. I will walk if my body says walk. I will run if it says run. All my friends will be there with me. I will be filled with love, joy, and pride that day. After that I'll start training for the next one. The next one in April. The one I will run every step of the way.