Today I had a very rewarding run. I set my best pace yet with an average of a 9.10 minute mile for 4 miles. This was quite the improvement from the 9.35 minute pace per mile I had set previously.
When I headed out the door this morning I told myself I would just go for a light run and feel the whole experience out. After 3 consecutive days of Crossfit, I thought my body would be too exhausted to go too far or too fast. I took the first mile fairly slow at about a 10 minute per mile pace and as usually my thoughts took off at about the same time my body did.
As I ran I thought about all of the Crossfit women and runners I wanted to be like. I picked apart their bodies, performance, and practice and then I began to think about mine and what I needed to improve on. I pictured my body as I felt it would need to be for peak performance; I envisioned myself participating in races and competitions and exceeding and then suddenly I noticed that something had changed.
My RunKeeper app sounded off my pace increasing with each mile and my body seemed interested in naturally picking up speed as I approached the middle of my third mile, when typically fatigue would start setting in. That’s when I realized as much as my body was changing, so were my thoughts. As far back as I can remember time spent working out or running was time spent thinking about how I was going to leave behind all of the stressful and painful things in my life: people, places, events. Running enabled me to envision running away…escaping.
You would think that nothing could be a better motivator than running like hell from something that frightens or hurts you. You would think…but really, it just becomes exhausting. Mind, body, emotions-suddenly running becomes a thing of desperation and despair. Today was different.
I don’t think that today was the day the “big switch” took place necessarily but at some point over the last 6 months a switch has been flipped in my mind. When, I run or lift or balance and stretch my focus has slowly started to turn away from how, what, or where I don’t want to be to where I know I can get. I can see myself as I want to be. Some days the picture is more blurred than others. Sometimes I still find myself trying to escape rather than become, but not today; and today, for the first time, the difference was undeniable.
The results speak for themselves and so does the fact that I can’t wait to strap on my shoes and run towards something great again tomorrow.