It was back in 2006 and I hadn't learned to trust my body yet.
"I need water!"
"I can't do this."
"I'm going to die!'
16 minutes later, I had run just one mile.
My brain was trying to control the process.
My brain was saying "But you've never done this before, so it can't be done."
In my panic, I let the lactic acid buildup discourage me.
I used more of my breath to say "I can't" than to say "I can."
But my body was wiser.
With each mile, my body said "this isn't too bad."
My body went from merely being able to do it, but wanting to run.
My body wanted to go further.
My body wanted to faster.
And so I released the emergency brake in my brain.
I let go.
And I ran further. I ran faster.
I've completed a few half-marathons on that elliptical pictured above (I nicknamed her "My cruel Mistress").
Two weeks ago I thought I had done the unthinkable -- I ran SIX sub-10 minute miles in a row. I set a new personal record for myself. I was fast.
But what followed was frustration. My body needed to recover after that. It went from fast to unbearably slow. Discouragingly slow. Back to 11-minute miles. One day was even closer to 12-minute miles.
|"A slow run is better than a fast sit. I am displeased by this considering my awesome run on tuesday. #gothedist"|
I needed to change the dialogue -- I needed to remind myself that exercise should be joyful and that I am truly thankful for every day I get to run.
And once again, when my brain got out of the way, my body responded.
That's right, I shaved a 1 minute and 20 seconds off my PR.
More than that -- I was 37 seconds away from 9-minute miles.