As I previously reported, running in Seattle was great. More than great. Fantastic! Euphoric! Loaded with sea level oxygen! But now I'm back home, running in Asheville. And it's a whole 'nother story. This was a hard week...mostly.
I won't continue to gripe and moan about the heat, humidity, hills and mountain air. (Well, I might, actually. But if I do, I want to state for the record that I think Asheville is one of the best cities in the world! Not too big, not too small, full of eclectic people, arts, restaurants, and of course, the Blue Ridge Mountains. I love it here. I mean, look at this photo! Isn't it gorgeous!)
It was a bit of a rough ride getting home. (You know the story: flight delayed, promises of departure in 20 minutes, 2 hours, 4 hours, oh wait, flight's canceled! No seats till next month, no other airline can possibly accommodate you, you're staying the night with a $15 food voucher in a restaurant where the cheapest thing on the menu is $23, and MAYBE you'll get home tomorrow. All the while kicking yourself for flying for "free" when if you had only been on Delta and had your Platinum status...) We finally got home at nearly midnight on a Monday night.
Tuesday night's track workout should have been very doable for me. But it was so HARD! I wussed out and did less than 50% of the workout. I must note here that I never have been able to do the full workout, even on my best day. These people are SERIOUS and FAST! But I had worked my way up to doing about 70%. Not this Tuesday. I was so tired. I chalked it up to a bad workout and let it go.
Then Thursday's tempo run came. Six miles that should have been no big deal. I ignored the sore throat that kept me up the night before. I refuse to get sick. Law of Attraction? I will not get sick!
It was one of my worst runs ever. I did finish it (yea me!), but my mental game was off the entire time. I swore at Asheville's inevitable hills, I walked much more than usual, I had a hard time breathing, and I was so TIRED! I blamed it all on Seattle and its sea-levelness, a joy that seemed to mock me now. I was not acclimatized.
By the time I got home from the run, I was sick. It was 85 degrees outside, and I was freezing. I shivered for a good part of an hour. My throat was on fire. I came to the realization I had just run six miles while ill. (And I apparently don't have that Law of Attraction thing figured out.)
I spent Friday and Saturday knocked down a bit by illness. Sunday came, and I was to do a long run (9.3 miles). My husband, friends, and even my dogs tried to convince me not to run on Sunday. They tried to rationalize with such silliness as "take care of yourself." Ha! But I MUST run. I couldn't imagine the feeling of that day without doing the long run. For a woman who has NOT been into fitness and exercise her whole life, save the past six months, I wondered who the heck I was and where Dani had gone. In the past, a morning on the couch vs. a two-hour workout? Uh, no brainer! Couch baby!!!
But not now. I WANTED to do that long run.
It was quite a shift for me.
I was congested but not feverish, had a headache but there are drugs for that. I got up, got dressed, went through my eating routine, got in the car, and prepared to run. My husband and I went together (I think he wanted to make sure I'd be ok, sweet man), and when I got out of the car, I felt awful. "Nine miles" I said to myself. "You really think you can run nine point three miles, the LONGEST you've ever run, feeling like this?!" I had a moment of self doubt. Was I being an idiot? I had had a fever the night before. Would this make me sicker? Was I putting my half marathon in jeopardy? Is it really worth it? Doesn't the couch and a movie sound sooooo much better....??
Then I looked down at my shoes.
I can't explain it. But something about seeing my shoes reset my brain. I thought of my own advice, "Just put your shoes on." There they were. On. Ready. Even if my brain was caving a little, my shoes were there to carry me. It was a little odd. But I went with the feeling. I just looked at my shoes, and got a sense of peace and knew that I would be ok.
And wouldn't you know it, I went on to run one of the most positive, challenging, fun and mentally easy runs I've had in Asheville.
All because of the shoes.
What are your "shoes?" Do you have an object that creates a positive, motivating feeling when you see it? If not, what would that be?
Until next time, may you love your life today.