Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Mind over matter - how strong we can truly be

A few weeks ago, I went for a "long distance" run and accomplished 5 miles (I did take two 1/4 mile walking breaks).  This was a HUGE accomplishment for me!  Not only have I never gone over 3.3 miles before but it was only recently that I could run 3 miles without stopping.  Including my walking bits, my average pace was equivalent to a snail - 14:24 - but I covered the distance.

A glimpse of Lake Michigan and the Chicago skyline near Diversey

Right after the 5 mile run, however, I hit a brick wall.  Work was incredibly stressful and I was not well rested.  I went out for two group runs that week and barely finished 3 miles.  My legs felt dead and it seemed as though I was dragging an anvil behind me.

Yesterday was Fleet Feet's Monday Fun Run and I was so discouraged that I almost didn't go.  Showing up at 6:27pm (the run starts at 6:30pm), I meagerly stood in the corner of the room hoping to just slip into the back of the pack.  But no, Tony spotted me and it was decided then that we were running together.  Paired with another couple planning to take it easy, we set off at a [fast] pace of 11:30.  

And we didn't stop.  Off to Rockwell and around Argyle, we approached River Park where Tony asked if we should turn around (that is typically the turn around for ~3 miles).  Without thinking, I said "let's go!".  Through the park and around the ice patch, we ran to Foster and turned around.  And we kept going.  And going.  And I even added a little sprint at the finish!

A few weeks ago, I hadn't been able to run a mile without walking.  Then, with the motivation of the running group, I ran almost 4 miles at at pace of 12:45.  What a reminder of how strong our minds (and bodies) can be!

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