Training

Resilience

July 14, 2016

This morning I had a fun workout – 12 x 400 (goal 1:40), with 1 minute recoveries and a 2 mile warm-up and cool down. I ran the 400s on a flat stretch, cranked my music, and let it rip. Man, it felt good, like really good – fist-pumping, high-fiving good. At the end of the 12 repeats my legs were sufficiently tired, and I started the slow crawl home. Some days it seems like some runs are meant to be, and I filed this in that category, not just because I consistently hit my target, but because I managed to stay out of the path of an ominous storm cloud, and was instead gifted with a rainbow on its fringes when I turned the corner to head home. I mean, c’mon. Sure, it’s cheesy, but I’ll take it as a universal sign to keep trucking.

As I started my cool down, after a few minutes of something that felt more like shuffling than running, I realized that I was humming along at a comfortable pace, which is to say that I bounced back from the harder intervals and felt sort of, I don’t know, normal. I suppose this isn’t miraculous or anything, but I couldn’t help pausing and thinking about resilience. One of my favorite mantras is “run hard, and just keep running”, which I’ll admit is on the long side for a mantra, so it probably gets truncated to something more like “just keep running” in the heat of the moment. I think I underestimate my ability to work hard and then to keep going, or the ability of my legs to recover faster than I think they will. Translation: I’m more resilient than I think I am. Yes, there are days when I’m just plain tired, and there are days when “keep going” means simply not stopping. Resilience isn’t just the ability to comfortably run a cool down after a hard workout, it’s powering through all the runs that don’t come as easily as I want, or finishing a race that started off poorly. It’s not always easy to tap into, and today’s resilience was not born of my own willpower. It just kind of happened in a way that I wasn’t expecting, and was a pleasant surprise. I suppose training is really this process of building resilience, but sometimes it’s nice to take a deep breath and feel a small sense of strength and accomplishment, whatever that may mean on any given day. Today it meant a comfortable 2 miles at the end of a hard workout.

The only things standing between me and my pillow are another hour at my desk, a loaded burrito bowl, and some much needed time with my favorite Netflixable girls. Then I plan to slip into some type of coma and ride it out until the not-so-wee hours of tomorrow morning. I hope your day is also full of accomplishment and/or burrito bowls (hopefully and, not or).

Yours in cheese AND guacamole,

Sarah

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