Believe You Can Run

All day yesterday, I was itching to get outside and try a run. The sun rays sparkled through the office windows and I purposely scheduled meetings in our other building so I could indulge in some fresh air a few minutes at a time.

While mentally I was pumped and raring to go, physically I was feeling sluggish, likely due to the less-than-healthy nosh from the weekend. Do it anyway, I told myself as I arrived home after the workday.

I walked lakeside for a minute, sporting shorts for the first time in forever,  before taking off in a run. I focused on my breathing and speed while dodging around walkers, runners, dogs and uneven pavement. Keep going, I kept saying internally.

I’m not a runner. But I want to be a runner. I’ve tried in the past, but never really stuck with it long enough to improve much. I kept wanting to just go and bang out a few miles, rather than breaking it down and building up my endurance one step at a time. I’ve been impatient with my progress in the past and just wanted to be good at it. After enough failed attempts, I’ve learned over the winter that I really do need to do the progressive work to truly get better and actually enjoy it.

Last night I ran 2:1 sprints around the lake, 2 minute run : 1 minute walk : repeat. The first few sprints were tough, my lungs were on fire and I had to push hard to keep going. But as I made my way around the 2.7 mile route, it got easier. I started skipping the minute walks and running longer stretches at a time.

I took a deep breath as I walked out the last stretch of pavement before I reached my car and it felt like I was filling myself with not only fresh air, but with hope and determination. The trees that arched over the trail like a canopy were bare and I envisioned the buds that would soon be appearing, blossoming into fresh, new greenery. A fresh new season. And for me, a fresh new start at training.

I try a lot of things and often times I fail the first few go ’rounds. But I have to believe I can succeed, even when I don’t at first. I have to talk like I’m already good at it, even if I’m not yet. It’s that attitude that eventually gets me there in everything I do. I just have to believe in it and have the patience to see it through.

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