Different day - same slog.
I warmed up for my steady state workout yesterday feeling like steaming garbage. My legs were heavy, my breathing rough, I was hungry, my right shoe was too loose, I was exhausted... I felt like I couldn't hold my warmup pace for eight miles let alone a pace two minutes a mile faster.

But I had asked my husband for the time. It was on my workout schedule. I am signed up for Rock N Roll Half Marathon in like 20 days. And I don't bail on work.

The warmup was two miles of slogging and internal conversation and mental arguments on the toddler level.

"I'm going to eat so much sh*t on this workout."
"Stop it! You'll be fine."
"These shoes are shot."
"I'm so hungry, I should eat and then try again later."
"I could just do this tomorrow right?"
"Seriously, who do I think I am. I should quit."
"Get it together, do you want this!? Do you? C'mon let's go, yay!!!"
"Shut TF up, cheerleader."

Then I hit the Starbucks bathroom, did halfhearted drills for :45 seconds and then told myself to stop stalling. I hit the lap button and started my workout. Eight mile steady state at 6:20s, which is 9 seconds a mile slower than my marathon PR.

First mile, I still felt like hot garbage. I started in on myself again. Berating myself for (probably) not  even being able run eight miles at a pace slower than I ran 26.2 just months before. I told that voice to shut up, I reminded myself to relax my shoulders, focus on my form and that it takes me at least four miles of any run for me to feel good. Marathoner problems.

Second mile, an older man in head to toe Gortex pulled up beside me on a bike and asked how far I'm going to go that fast. I reply, eight miles. He's shocked and says good job and pedals away. I thought, well now I have to do it.

Third mile, I hit a headwind and start to work hard to stay on pace. But over all start to feel better, at least like fresh garbage. And the headwind means I'll ride a tailwind in a bit. I started to look forward to that. Then reminded myself to stay in the moment.

Fourth mile, I started feeling like I'd finish the workout. Just one more of those. Remind myself again to stay in the moment.

The next four miles I stayed in the moment. I focused on the step under me, the breath I was taking. This is the workout groove that can be hard won. Every once in awhile I'd ask my body if I could work easier and stay on pace, found the answer was yes. I stayed under pace, felt smoother, but never great. And the cool down felt like an eternity of slogging boredom but I forced myself to do the full two miles.

It was one square on the calendar. It wasn't square one. It was a deposit into the running bank.


  1. This post is on point and a significant investment in the running blogosphere capital. Thanks for the honesty.

  2. Perspective is everything, and you nailed it on this one. Your speed and talent aren't the only things that are inspiring, Sarah! The way you put it all into words totally hit home with me.


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