I was staring down the track yesterday, about to run my last 800 repeat when Eminem’s Lose Yourself came on my iPod.
Look, if you had one shot, or one opportunity
To seize everything you ever wanted in one moment
Would you capture it or just let it slip?
I paused for one more second to let the words sink in and then accelerated and started my stopwatch to time my eighth and final repeat.
Yes, perhaps a little dramatic to relate this song to my track workout but I was willing to do whatever it took at that point to push through the last half-mile of my fast repeats.
Yesterday was a tough day at the track for me. After last week’s post about learning to be comfortable with being uncomfortable, I really have been taking my own words and living by them. I've been getting outside in the freezing cold (for Portland) weather and pushing myself as hard as I can. I ran my best track workout of this training season last Wednesday and followed it up with another hard workout on Saturday and one on Monday. By Monday afternoon, however, I was completely spent. As in, lie-down-on-the-couch-for-two-hours-in-the-middle-of-the-day spent. Something that I never do. Not even after 20 mile runs.
|Just one of the many beautiful sights from Saturday's chilly run|
I started to think I was on the verge of overtraining and began to doubt myself, definitely not a good mindset to have when headed to the track yesterday morning. I began with a 1.5 mile warm-up jog to a nearby high school track and started my first 800. It.Was.Awful. My legs felt so sluggish and tired. Immediately upon finishing my first repeat, I started playing mind games familiar to all runners. Instead of running 8 x 800, I could run just 2 x 800 and then run 3 “fast-ish” miles before heading home. This way I would still be running the same total miles. Makes sense, right?! Runner’s logic, for sure.
After two 800’s, I decided I could quit after three because then I would at least be close to halfway done. Once I had finished the third one, I had to do one more and make it to halfway. Then I would run two fast miles before heading home, or so my mental argument went. Long story short, I found myself staring down the track before my eighth and final 800 when the Eminem’s lyrics had me convinced that finishing my last repeat was the key to my success. Ha!
I followed up the repeats with one “fast” mile and then jogged home. Honestly, I was surprised that I won that mental battle with myself on the track. And my 800 times weren’t really that horrible…just not what I wanted them to be.
I returned back home and made my post-run smoothie -- a tasty blend of frozen bananas, frozen pineapple, cucumber, spinach and Vega One protein powder. I then tried unsuccessfully to sit in a cold bath while drinking the chilly smoothie before giving up and taking a hot shower instead. But while I showered and got ready to pick up the little ones from preschool, I reflected on my workout and was immensely proud of myself for finishing when my body was screaming at me to quit. And I thought about the last words of Eminem's song...
You can do anything you set your mind to
What kinds of tips or tricks do you use to get through a tough workout? Do you have something specific you think of to help motivate you?
What about favorite songs to help motivate you??