Have you ever started your training season and had to talk yourself
off the ledge into actually starting? Like, a pep talk to get your butt out the door?
Or maybe you started back at school this week and almost had a panic attack about the pending weeks and days and hours ahead of sitting on your butt, freezing in the classroom, knowing only too well that you have a ridiculous amount of work to do OUT of said frozen tundra of a classroom.
“We are all cowards at the start line.” ~Alberto Salazar
I love this quote because no matter how many start lines I toe, it rings true. I have to talk myself into starting just about every race I do. Usually because I cannot fathom running as far or as fast as I’ve set my goal.
Fear of failure, I guess. But really, it’s finishing in a respectable time and fashion.
I don’t want to crawl across the finish line or puke as I get my medal.
And I don’t want to hate every step I take.
But I will hate some of those miles. And I will hate being in class some of the days. I mean, hours and hours of lecture wears on you no matter how interesting the material. And miles and miles of running can make you crazy no matter how beautiful the day.
So, how do I get myself out the door for a long run when I’m panicked about the distance? How do I gear up for (what will sum up to) 5.5 years of post-graduate school in my thirties? (I’M SO OLD!!!!)
Guys, it’s all about your team.
I text, email, tweet, and send smoke signals to any and all my runner friends that I need a running buddy. Even if it’s only for a few of the miles in my monster long runs with someone I’ve never met except online, a buddy gets me out the door and running.
I have to meet them. And I look forward to chatting for as long as they’ll tolerate my company.
If I don’t have anyone to run with, I text Birdie and complain. And then she tells me to go because the sooner I start, the sooner I can finish and eat all the salt.
And if I can’t get a hold of anyone, I trick myself.
“Just go out for 5 and, if you feel good, keep going.”
“Well, you’re at 10. May as well kick a 5K in.”
“15 is only 5 away from 20.”
Seriously, I have this negotiation with myself at the start of almost every long run. It’s normal (I think) to not feel like you want to run 22 miles every Saturday. And it’s normal (dear God, I hope) not to love every single minute of grad school.
It’s not all roses. It’s not all awesome. But if you have a goal, you gotta get through the sucky days, the sucky runs, to reap the benefits of having finished. Of having reached the finish line and having that medal placed around your sweaty neck.
You gotta earn it.
Now go out and run.
Tell me: Have you had a recent crappy/intimidating run that you had to talk yourself into doing? Do you negotiate? Please don’t tell me I’m the only one who bribes herself with food. That’s normal, right?