SWEAT, TEARS, & FACING YOUR FEARS (SORT OF) // SUNDAY FUNDAY
There are no shortage of things that can go wrong when your forced to run 6 miles on a treadmill.
You sweat, you struggle, and you come up with a hundred and one reasons for why you can’t quite get the miles in or run at a semi fast pace. I went into the gym at 5:15 a.m. with the goal of running 6 miles in under 58 minutes and then putting everything I had left into my heavy leg workout. At the same time, I went in wishing I had taken my own advice and iced my pelvis+hips for a few hours yesterday. I never could have predicted just how tough it would be to get in 6 miles without breaking down and giving up. Or, just how mentally taxing it would be to back off on the weight for squats and pretty much every other leg exercise.
It started out simple enough, I ran the first mile at 6 miles an hour. From there, I decided I could totally handle upping the speed by .1 every mile. Early on, before the regret of wearing a long sleeve t-shirt hit me, I felt fine. FINE. No signs of any pain or the struggle bus in sight. Then somewhere around the 2-2.5 mile mark the pain and fear starting creeping in. At first, I didn’t really pay a whole lot of attention to it. I just thought it was all in my head, another clear sign that I need to work on my mental (and physical) toughness. However, the farther and faster I ran, the worse things got.
I can remember hitting the 3 mile mark, and having an internal debate about whether it was really worth in to push myself another 3 miles.
The only thing that stood between me and running smart, running SAFE…was my ego. If I didn’t run 6 miles today that would mean I only got in 1 measly long run this week; with a less than impressive weekly mileage total below my new “normal” total of 22 miles. That was unacceptable. That option was not even on the table for me, especially when I’m supposed to be better now. Healthier and INJURY FREE. I haven’t stepped in the chiropractors office since late August 2018. This shouldn’t be happening, not when I’m running on a treadmill and still holding myself to 5 runs a week.
I was in deep, deep denial. By the time I hit the four mile mark and upped the speed to a 9:22 mile pace, all I could think about was how happy and proud I would be when I finally hit the finish line. When I finally was able to hit stop, hop off the dreadmill, and lay on the floor for a few moments. I was drenched in sweat and wondering how on earth time seemed to be moving so slow this morning. Then, at the 5 mile mark, I decided that 58 minute goal was no longer “good enough.” I looked back on the previous miles, and felt like I had slacked majorly on speed. So, I forced myself to suck it up and run as fast as possible for the final 1/2 mile.
The tears came after I dragged myself from the treadmill back to the weight are and the squat rack.
I knew sitting on the floor wasn’t the best idea, but by that point I really didn’t care. I had crossed the finish line in 57 minute and 30 seconds. I was covered from head to toe in sweat, just trying to catch my breath and feel “normal” again. By the time I had my first set of squats done, I knew things were only going to get worse from there. I actually contemplated just putting on my lifting belt right then and there rather than waiting until I got to heavier weight. Because, in those moments, 65 lbs. felt extremely heavy. After a few more sets, I knew I had to let my ego go and adjust my expectations. There would be no PR’s or lifting as much weight as possible today.
For me, that’s an incredibly scary scenario, having to limit myself. I only train legs twice a week, one heavy day and one light day. So, today was my one shot to overload my legs with both high volume and high weight. And, even though I knew it wasn’t the case, I was terrified that this one mediocre lift was going to cause me to loose all my “gains.” By the time I got through 90 minutes of lifting, I was a hot mess. Just walking out the door of the gym was a challenge. Coming home, breaking out the ice packs, that’s when it really sunk in. I’m not invincible. I haven’t been prioritizing my workout recovery like I should be. And, it’s so much easier that I though to go right back being injured, broken, and in pain.