Here's what happened today: Plan A was to run the route for next week's company 5k event with a coworker, but she forgot to bring her gym bag. To be honest (and what's the point of lying to you, anyway?), I was quite glad to be off the hook, because I didn't really feel like it anyway. I did however have that nagging feeling in the back of my head that I really ought to run today, so that I would be better prepared for the other 5k I'm signed up for, which is on Saturday.
But I really wanted to slack off. It's just so much easier! Finny says when she has a race coming up, she just goes for that run. Me? I don't have that self-discipline. I always want to weasel out of it.
Then I had my monthly call with my coach, and today's choices came up as we talked about losing and regaining momentum. She had a really good suggestion (like she usually does) - instead of just option A (running with my coworker this morning) or option negative A (not sticking with the plan), how about a compromise? And since I already knew what I *should* be doing, what would it take to get me there, or at least closer to it?
So here was the compromise I came up with: I would run at the gym on the treadmill, which is easier for me than running outdoors. And I did. I stopped at the gym after work and felt better just walking through the door.
The entire workout was compromises and bribery and sweet-talking myself into doing just a little more. I picked the last workout from the Couch to 5k program: 5 minutes brisk warm-up walk, 30 minutes of running, and 5 minutes of cool-down walk. I told myself I would run for the entire 30 minutes, but that I could dial down the pace if I needed to. I did my 5 minutes warm-up at my usual speed of 3.8 mph, then punched it up to 5.0 for the run. This is a little faster than I usually start off, but, like I said, I'd allowed myself to slow down later if I needed to.
The first five or eight minutes of running are hard for me - my body is still warming up and working out its kinks. After about a mile, it settles into a good rhythm. I ran nicely for the first 15 or 20 minutes, but I really wanted to slow down. Or stop to walk. Or just stop altogether. But I also really really wanted to tell my coach and my trainers that I had DONE IT! And there was another woman running on the treadmill next to me. And hey, if she wasn't quitting, no way in hell that I would! Not yet, anyway! I reminded myself that I could slow down if I needed to. And what Deb said: "Your brain quits before your body does. So listen to your body instead!"
Awww, but I really want to quit ... but there are reserves left. I am still breathing ok. There's no hiccup in my stride or tightness in my legs. That little hitch in the side might go away if I watch for my posture and relax and breathe a little better. And hey, I don't think I've gotten my second wind yet ... I'll keep running just a leeeetttle longer, until I find it. I really want to quit ... but I'll do just a smidgen more. To the end of the minute. Okay, *another* minute. To the end of the song. To the end of the mile.
I am not sure if I ever did find my second wind or not, but I did run my entire 30 minutes - without dialing down the pace, even! Didn't feel quite confident enough to pick up the pace for a sprint finish, but I did lengthen my stride a bit. (That was another compromise.)
So, anyway, thank you all! I couldn't have done it without you. I stuck with it just so I could tell you. (I told my treadmill neighbor too, when we ended up back in the locker room at the same time. She agreed - it really does propel you forward if there's others around. Oh, and she told me about a running group that takes off from the Nike Store at Stanford Sunday mornings at 9am. I might check that out. Not promising, but it's a good extra option to have.)