The most amazing transformation occurred this Christmas week. Cookies took it upon themselves to transform into a muffin - top that is. Muffin top. Welcome back. Beware, your stay will be short.
As I was running my long 9 miles this morning, I pondered the anatomy of a run.
The first 3 miles
It starts out like this:
The first 3 miles are pretty much like this - always. I have this running conversation with myself...
"Why am I doing this? This hurts. I can't breathe. I could walk home. I could stop. I will run another day.... "
Each step feels heavy. My body is slow. My mind is in overdrive giving me excuses. My legs hurt. My lungs hurt. My ego hurts. I try to visualize myself at a further point in my route - at the top of the hill, I look towards Target and think that I will be there - and another 3 miles into this run - fairly soon.
The next 3 miles
My little voice just keeps on..
"Ah! I feel strong! I feel empowered! I see my shadow, or my reflection in a window - and wow! Hey! Look at me! I'm doing what lots of people wish they could do. I lift my head up high. My pace is good. I feel like a million bucks. I've got energy to spare. I'm totally cute - check out my legs! I could totally run a half marathon. I could totally run a marathon. I get it! I could tackle anything. I mean, honestly, if you have told me this time last year that I would be running - running over 5 miles in one go - I would have laughed you to another planet. Yipeee!!! "
My legs feel amazing. I am on springs. I feel powerful and in charge. Don't get in my way. Ugh, is that a tweek in my knee? Nah...
The doubt is creeping in at this point. I'm not sure I can go much further. My legs are starting to feel a bit like jelly and my running is a bit more haphazard. I'm sort of scared I'm going to hurt myself at this point. I tend to go faster as I am getting a bit desperate at seeing the distance at the Garmin. Now, I see the end and I am dying to get there. This is where I start to think about "emptying my tank" -- leaving it all out there. The pain sort of slips into a numb place, the voices quiet - and I am singularly focused on the end. Down this street - up that hill - across that park - almost there. I'm racing to be done. Forget thinking straight, I can hardly see straight.
During my cool down - a walk up and down the block - I relish in the post run confidence. The disbelief that I've just finished 9 miles, but the confidence that I could do it again if I had to. I feel exhausted but invigorated. Ready to tackle whatever comes my way.
I made it thru all of my runs Christmas week. I even made it to the gym. I gave in on the diet and consumed more sugar this past week than I have all year. I forgive myself for it. But I will add the caveat that despite feeling like I could "tackle whatever comes my way", I have failed at tackling the scale this week. Again, I haven't even gotten on the darn thing. I am totally scared to see the number. I'm in denial.
Week 4 was a taper week. I backed off the mileage:
Miles: 18 miles (15 miles outside - 4 on the treadmill)
Garmin stats were lost in the great Garmin death from the cold. Thanks to a reboot I am back up and running, literally.