Yea, its about running, so if you’re eye-rolling already and wondering why this is all I concern myself with, just stop reading now and go read the 750 stolen ‘inspirational’ quotes populating your friends’ Facebook walls at this very minute.
but today, I found euphoria, and now that I know its really out there, it’s going to make pushing through the wall that much more rewarding.
Here’s how it happened
Today, my training was 11.4 miles. Nothng too crazy, right? But in that run, I was to:
- hammer 3 x 1-mile intervals (6:58 pace)
- with 4,6,9 minute recoveries (9:34 pace)
- BUT, to finish off the intervals, I had to run 1.5 miles at that same pace (6:58)
- then click off another 3 miles at steady pace (8:20)
On paper, sounds like a piece of cake.
After 2 miles of 8:20-ish pace, I kicked in the first 1-mile interval. 6:58 is a pretty strong pace for me right now in my re-conditioning, but I got through it.
4:00 recovery (9:34 pace, slow thank God!)
Then, the 2nd 1-mile interval followed, again @ 6:58, and I wondered if’d get through it this time. It was hard and I felt my form begin to crumble.
6:00 recovery (9:34 pace)
The third interval came and all the way through it, I thought, “man, 1.5 miles at this pace is going to break me.”
and I felt frustrated and defeated.
During the entire 9:00 recovery, almost another complete mile, I stressed over the last interval. 1.5 miles at 6:58 was gonna hurt bad – especially after 6 miles, 3 of which were 6:58 pace intervals…
THEN I PUT ON MY BIG BOY PANTIES
I’m sick of the little weaknesses that break me. I’m sick of having mad potential and throwing it away for super-sick, deeply-seated, deeply-rooted BS that I use to define why I do some of the dumb shit I do.
I’m sick of it.
In running …in life, in relationships, in everything. I’m sick of the bullshit. Period.
I started yelling.
“I got this mutha _ _ _ _er!” – and all kinds of colorful, cussing that built me up, made me feel strong and defiant and powerful and while some may look to the heavens, I looked within.
And it was time.
But instead of cranking that pace to 6:58, I went 6:53. My “punishment for being such a little bitch.”
and I ran hard.
By 1/2 mile into it, I knew it was going to take everything I had to hang on. On the treadmill, you can’t just slow down or you’ll get slammed into the wall behind you… You HAVE to keep up the pace.
I played all the mental games. Checking out mentally, listening to the loud Harry the Bastard mix on the speakers, thinking about naked women, …anything I could think of to get my mind off of my rapid breathing, sore foot and cartoon-character-feeling pace under foot.
Again, I yelled, out-loud and defiantly, “I got this!” and “You can’t break me!”
and I held on.
and got stronger.
and all of sudden, it stopped hurting.
My breathing came under control.
My chest was pushed out, my feet moving swiftly under my center of mass, and my form was clean and tight.
My head went trippy, like some kind of special garden imagery filled my brain. Similar to how I pictured the “other side” in the book “The Shack”.
and I no longer felt bad.
In fact, I felt great.
The last .3 miles of that 1.5 mile interval was the BEST running experience I have ever had and that’s why I’m documenting it.
I dug deep and found “that” place that every athlete looks for.
…and I deeply, wantingly, want to go back there.
It was euphoria. And I found it on my own.