I had an awesome run this morning. My workout was nine miles with 5x800m repeats. I drove myself to the (very dark!) high school track at 5:30am and ran a five mile warm-up. I shed a layer (it was only 26 degrees so I started out bundled up) and then hit the intervals.
Almost two weeks ago I did a very similar workout on the treadmill and it about killed me (and shook my confidence a little because it was so tough). Today, IT ROCKED. I never felt like I was running all out, I never felt like I wanted to quit, I never felt like I was going to throw up or pass out or die, I never felt like I couldn't finish, and I definitely could have knocked out more of these repeats.
And my times? 2:55, 2:56, 2:57, 2:57, 2:54 (which means all five 800's were under a 5:59 pace). When I saw my times, despite the track being windy and despite not giving it an all out effort, it was a huge confidence booster.
At first, running alone on a cold, dark track was a little creepy. (And I can't help but think how fun it would be to do a workout like this with other runners and a coach there!) But after a while it felt pretty awesome. I felt tough. I felt strong.
Speaking of strong -
I do not usually buy myself things that I don't "need", but for my birthday I gave in and finally got an Endorphin Warrior Bracelet. I have wanted one for quite a while.
It came on Monday, and it is awesome. I love it.
They have a lot of great bracelets, but here is the one I chose.
"Strength" is the word I chose.
Running has helped me find my strength in many ways. Running has made my physically stronger, but it has also made me stronger as a person, inside and out. For a long time I struggled with feeling insecure, and being a runner has helped me so much with that.
When I look at my wrist, whether I am running, racing, working, playing with the kids, doing laundry, or whatever, this is the perfect reminder.
It reminds me that I have strength. It reminds me to be strong - physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
It reminds me to think of all the places I get my strength from - Josh, the kids, my parents, family, friends, my faith, God, and of course - from deep inside myself.
It reminds me not to quit, not to give up, not to doubt myself, not to get overwhelmed, not to give in, and not to let go of my dreams, no matter what life throws at me. It inspires me to push myself, to hold on to and believe in the strength within me, and to have the strength to work for what I want to accomplish.
With Boston less than three weeks away and a challenging last few weeks personally, a dose of strength, and a reminder of my own strength, is just what I needed.
When I ran my first marathon I had "Courage. Faith. Strength." on my pace band, and I still use that as a mantra (and variations of it) often when the going gets tough on a run in or in a race.
Do you have a power word? What one word would you put on your wrist?