This weekend was one of the hardest workouts I have ever done. I have never finished a training run and almost been in tears. I have finished a race and been so happy that tears are shed but never me...alone... in my basement... about to lose it. We find a way of setting high expectations for ourselves and anything short of hitting them is a "huge failure" in our own eyes. This run was seven miles at a eight minute mile pace...I have not run that for a LONG time and never have done it outside of a race day run, never just for fun or a part of training. I knew it would be hard but knew I could do it. Five miles completed at the pace...then turned it to an 8:06 pace....only held that for 1.5 miles then turned it back up to an eight minute mile pace.
As I ran during those last two miles I just was so mad at myself. I also knew in that moment how ridiculous it was that I was getting frustrated with me. That I was trying my very best for that day and that I have come so far. I also knew that pushing myself through those last two miles, even though it was a slower pace than my initial goal, was WAY better than quitting and would still give me a feeling accomplishment at the end.
What happens with me when I quit...I feel miserable...I get mad at myself...I generally will start eating crap food with little to no nutritional value to "make myself feel better." I then start the miserable feeling of why the heck am I eating this crap...I know it is so bad for me. Then I tell myself to just finish it all so then it will be done and then I can stop thinking about it and the moment of weakness will be over. Oh...did I just define a binge ;)
The choice that I made this weekend, although it did nearly bring me to tears....I kept on pushing through. I know how hard these 26.2 miles will be in May and there will be many times that I will want to stop, to just through in the towel, to think that I don't have what it takes. I also know that dialing it a back a little bit to regain control but still stay focused on the goal is better than just stopping.
When we stop, quit, give up...we have to restart the whole process all over again...and usually the distance between where we were and where we want to go has gotten a bit bigger. We feel like failure is just the easier way out...that making the bad choices will feel better than the harder moments of small misses of reaching that end goal. When we give up, those bad choices become all we can think about...and we wonder what our next bad choice will be and then say that our initial goal was just so unrealistic and we really can't do that. We slowly convince ourselves that hard is in fact impossible.
If I stopped at mile 5 and did not push through I would then think the next time faced with a seven mile pace run that I couldn't do it, that I would fail. I know now because I pushed through that the next time I will succeed...and it will be hard...but I can make it to the end without stopping and maybe not changing the pace slower....and if I do slowdown-that is not failure...it is progress. I do not sit at this keyboard and believe that I am anything close to perfect...I know that I have flaws and I have a lot of work to do every day to help me remember that. I need these small moments of success to fuel me to get to that next bigger, harder moment.
I was asked the other day by a friend what is my goal with all of this Orange Visor stuff...and my answer is this...I want other moms and women and men and people to know that yes things are hard...but they are not impossible and every day we work towards our own goals is a step in the right direction...and giving up is in fact harder or may even be more mentally challenging than pushing through and working for it and getting to that end goal. We have one chance at being the best person we can be...and every day is a chance to work towards it...remember that when you want to give up. You have the chance today...take it.
Embrace the suck...choose you!