No question: The Workout of the Week this week was all about showing up.
I hadn’t run 15 miles in one stretch since the Boston Marathon. I’d had a summer of icky knee weirdness that turned out to be lazy quadriceps muscles that needed a boost. Finally, there was a nice half-marathon in Victoria two weekends ago that felt “right” – even though the race itself felt hard since I was trying to actually race the thing and not just do a training run.
But an actual training run? With a mile pace around 90 seconds to two minutes slower per mile than my goal marathon pace? It had been a while.
What I’m starting to love about workouts is that they’re teaching me so much about how to just show up in life, in every area, no matter what. It’s definitely hard sometimes. Sleeping in sounds so good (especially now that we’re firmly into the Seattle fall, where it’s dark dark dark deep into the morning, and I’m the kind of person who wakes up with the sun). Putting things off. Saying “I’ll do that tomorrow.”
One of the people in my life whom I trust calls her personal to-do list that doesn’t ever seem to get done the “Stack of Shame.” In her case, she’s a professional speaker who gets audience feedback forms at every engagement, and then has to sift through them to follow up on Every. Single. One. And when it doesn’t get done immediately, there you go: the pile sits on her work desk. The Stack of Shame.
Every time something should get done that doesn’t get done immediately in my life, it gets added to that mental pile in my head: the virtual Stack of Shame. And the bigger that stack gets, the more the inertia sets in. It’s harder and harder to just get going.
So doing my long run was a big deal this week, because I knew it was Number One on my training to-do list. You cannot “phone in” a marathon (well, you can, but it’s going to be a long and painful slog to the finish line). I’ve run marathons both ways: having trained well, and having…not. Let me be the first to tell you right here and now: running a marathon after you’ve trained well is exponentially more fun. Like, to the power of a zillion.
It goes for everything else, too. Once you have a practice of just showing up, in your Sunday finest (or whatever passes for that for whatever it is you’re showing up for), you get into the practice of just showing up. And from there, your body and mind can take over.
I did not want to get out the door on Sunday morning. Fifteen miles is no slouchy run. It’s a big ‘un. But I got out there, and took the first step. Within a mile, I was feeling way better. Within two miles, I was singing happily with my iPod. And I knew I was going to get to fifteen miles, just by showing up in my Sunday finest (the best little running capris, pink running shirt, and snazzy running shoes you ever-did-see) and taking the first step.
Yesterday’s Every48 workout: A super-duper SPIN class in the morning with my favorite instructor. It was a recovery workout for me since I’d run long the day before, but my instructor still has a way of making us get just a little bit more out of every workout.