Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Don't you quit

"It is when things are the hardest that you must not quit."

Friday marked the last day that our kids were at camp, and so when I made it to bed that night, I was wiped. I knew what was in store for the morning: a tempo run followed by packing up our site. I went to sleep excited about the challenge, but completely exhausted. When I awoke, not much had changed. I felt so tired, and quickly the minutes crept by. I could either gut it out then, or hope to be done closing early enough to fit in the run. Nope, wasn't taking any chances on missing out. And with that, I was out of bed.

So, the warm-up that I have been doing is a 2.5 mile uphill run through this trail by UCSC. Very beautiful, but actually pretty hard for a warmup. It is uphill consistently for the first 1.5 miles, then it levels out to a reasonable level. By the time it evened out, I still felt tired, and unsure about the challenge ahead (6 mile tempo starting at 7:15 pace). Maybe I could just make this a run without concern for time, and then just do the tempo on Sunday. Nope, stop trying to change the game!

So, I started my watch and was off. Thankfully, the weather was misty enough that even though I felt tired, the weather was invigorating. And as I kept going faster and faster, I felt more alive, more alert. Was this possible? I shot out of the trail, back on the road, and felt great. I thought, maybe this won't be a wash after all. I came through 5 miles in 34:xx, and that was when I starting to tire. The flat stretch was almost over, and not only would the final mile of the tempo be uphill, but so would the cooldown (this is part of the 600 ft. climb). I told myself to just hang on as long as possible, and I did take on part of the hill. Then I saw a stop light, and just told myself to get to there, and I put everything I could into hitting that light with some semblance of speed. - I ran 5.75 miles in 40:15 (7 minute pace)! The "Don't Quit" poem kept running through my head, with the resounding line, "It's when things seem worst that you must not quit." I am so glad I did not - it was not a wash or wasted run - it was great. Totally totally worth it, and I went into the day feeling proud of what I did. Do you ever feel like that? Going into work with a successful and complex run already done, but you can't really explain it to any coworkers? Eh, it's okay - they didn't know what it meant, but they did know what it meant to me.

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