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A Little Help From My Friends

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Yesterday I had one of "those" runs. The ones that, even before it starts, you are already exhausted and dreading the next hour of your life. The ones during which you spend the first 5 minutes telling yourself that you'll settle into your stride and feel better. The ones where you spend the last 50 minutes realizing you're not going to settle into your stride and feel better today.

My ultimate goal is to run the famous San Francisco Bay to Breakers race in May (12K) so I'm training to do a 10K now using the Bridge to 10K phone app. My running buddy and I have a moonlight 10K race at the end of the month that we won't quite be ready for, so it might have some walk intervals in it, but we're doing our best to be as ready as we can be.

Yesterday was a big time/distance increase - running for an extra 9 minutes (3 x 18 min) and about a mile total in the hot afternoon sun. To be honest, I'm not sure if I would have even gone on the run if it weren't for a standing running date with a coworker. I was struggling for the first 2 intervals but it was doable. It wasn't until I got to the last 18 minutes that I really felt my body screaming.

My brain started with the comments: Why bother training like this if you're going to be miserable the whole time? Isn't this supposed to be fun? There's nothing wrong with 5K, why push for 10K. You are LITERALLY going to DIE if you keep running right now. (Yeah, yeah, I know, my brain is prone to hyperbole)

About 10 min into the last interval I yelled up to my running buddy (who was already a few paces ahead), "I need to walk for a few!". She yelled back "Keep going, we're almost there!" and didn't slow her pace. I walked for about 20 sec and then, watching her get further away, pulled my sh*t together and went for it. I figured it was only 8 more min and I had already survived 46 min! I took a different route than her during the last 5 min to find some shade, but even without her right be side me I still heard her "Keep going, we're almost there!" Even going my own way at the end, I still didn't want to let her down and wanted to support her in her run.

Of course today, I'm happy that I completed the run and can visualize a time when I will be able to complete 10K with....relative....ease. But yesterday's run really hammered home the importance of support on this journey. Nobody is perfect. No one is a rock everyday. Even the greatest athletes still need coaches. And for us mere mortals, on the days that our brains our telling us we're just not going to make it, it's nice to have friends to take the reins and push us further. It's nice to have a little help from my friends.
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