Running is a good teacher if we listen to him. He knows lots of stuff about us. He knows how far we can go, he knows how far we THINK we can go but he actually knows how far this is, he knows what motivates us, he knows what can derail us and he gives out the most amazing rewards for persevering with him.
Rewards? fitness, endurance, toned muscles, time out from the real world, trips away with friends…the rewards are endless.
Today I learnt old lessons all over again.
At times with this marathon running I wonder if it really is any good for me. I’m actually getting slower. I’ve seen a few rare glimpses of a faster Unsporty Woman in 2015 such as a PB in the Launceston 10 on two fronts: fastest 5km split and fastest 10km time. I’ve gone a little bit faster in some other events too but they are only glimpses of fast. The plodding, back-of-packer Unsporty Woman has been my predominant running style this year.
One lesson I learnt all over again today is that I can keep on going way past when I think I need to stop. An oldie but a goodie.
Pauly and Louise had a 30km training run this morning in preparation for Cadbury Marathon in early January. We are in the grip of a heatwave here in Australia and it’s even here in Tasmania. It’s nearly 4pm and our thermometer that sits in our shading veranda area is telling me it’s just a nudge under 34°C. That’s hot . We started out at 6am and it was 13°C. We did 10kms out and 10kms back in the shady early morning along River Road. Then as the sun came up and started to scorch us we did lovely laps around the river track in very close proximity to my car and a cooler bag full of drinks. It was tough going for Pauly and Louie but they made it. Longest training run for Cadbury done and dusted. Well done you two!
I wasn’t sure how far I’d go today. I thought 20kms but really thought I’d like to aim for 25kms and then would consider doing the full 30km. At 20kms, despite the heat, things were going well so I pushed on for 25kms. Kms 24 and 25 were tough, it was full on hot! I pushed on a bit more and clocked up just over 26kms. I’m not training for the marathon so decided it was ok to stop. I managed to go just a little further than the 25kms. It felt great to be out there running and coping so well in the hot conditions.
Running taught me yet again that I can go further than I think I can. I had serious doubts that I could go over 20kms today and I ended up going just a little past my goal of 25kms.
Never underestimate yourself. You are stronger than you think you are. Build up slowly and keep believing that you can go the distance. Don’t ever let self-doubt get in the way of pursuing your dream running distance. You have the power to keep on going!
And today I’m grateful. As I ran km 24 to 25 a lovely lady was walking along the river track. She has had the most tumultuous year. She went from a very healthy woman with a professional job to battling a rare cancer. It threw her life into total disarray. From being independent and working and doing her own thing – to all of a sudden needing care and her life revolving around hospital visits and treatments. She has the most positive uplifting attitude to life and I’m sure this strength helped her to come through to the other end of this terrible disease.
There I was huffing and puffing and looking red-faced and there she was a woman who knows real stress and physical endurance. I was humbled and grateful for the reminder to love life and to keep living my dreams AND most of all to be grateful. It was a firm reminder to look on the positive side and to find an up no matter what.
Out on the run today I learnt more about how strong I am and was given a beautiful reminder to be grateful for a body that can run. Wonderful reminders from one of the best teachers I know, Running.
Happy running 🙂
Ps I helped out by getting cows in this afternoon – gosh it was hot!