Today’s gym visit, an unforeseen day off, arrived on the heels of a thorough workout yesterday. I should have been resting my muscles a bit, but since I won’t get another workout in until next week, and I also needed to shake off this funk I’ve been in the past few days, I figured I might as well make the best of the free time.
I was cautioned to stay away from running until my body was stronger, but the elliptical machines don’t give me the burn I yearn for deep down. Yes, they get the blood pumping and the muscles moving but something always feels insufficient. So determined to get rid of the sadness I’ve been feeling lately, I walked right past those darned ellipticals and headed for the row of empty treadmills.
I picked one against the back wall so my demise, should it come, wouldn’t be witnessed by many. I selected the random setting, as memories of running the course in Prospect Park, NY and how great I felt afterwards flooded my mind vividly. Far be it for me to pick something easy to start off with, oh no!!! I had the audacity to select level 3 at a pace of 5 mph. Try running at that pace with hills as a new runner? “You’ve lost your mind!!!” my brain screamed. “Yes, and I’m going to run until I lose my aching heart too!” I snapped in brazen frustration.
5 minutes of hell
I punched in my weight (I will never tell) and the time (20 mins) then hit start. The closed captioned TV turned on and I was off. Two minutes in, my pace was strong, my breathing was fine, then the first incline indicator blinked on the monitor— a hill was up ahead! I began to feel the pressure, my lungs needed more air, my heart was pumping harder, and I needed to focus on my breathing. Eyes off the TV, I looked down at my feet – “FOCUS!!!” My lungs were struggling by then, the first 5 minutes are by far the hardest of any run, “Breathe dammit, BREATHE!!!” My pace was steady, my heart was pushing, I was almost at the top of the hill, and I felt my lungs open wide. They got the air they needed; I was no longer panting (and coughing); I was finally breathing at a normal pace, I think… Either that, or I was about to pass out!
The course finally began to decline, THANK GOODNESS! My pace was perfect, and I was actually able to follow along with the show ‘The Talk’. It was almost ten minutes by then and I was getting tired. I needed to take it easy if I had to make it the other ten. So I slowed my pace to a 3.7mph brisk walk to regain my composure. I felt my abs tuck in as my core steadied my balance – Nice! That is what I’d been missing! That was the rush of distraction I needed to chase away the blues! I gathered my thoughts; increased my pace to 4.7 mph and started running again.
5 minutes of heaven
I looked down at my feet again to focus on my breathing. It was easier now that my heart was at maximum output, so I steadied myself and drank it all in. I was sweating hard and I was NOT gonna stop ‘til the clock said 20 mins. I was giving it all I had and I could feel the burn! I remembered the days of doing a 3 mile, 60 min run, nonstop, EASY! But there I was struggling to do a silly 20 minutes. Then I remembered how long it took me to get to those first 20 minutes back when I was new to running. So I cheered myself up,
“Chin up Chica, you’ll be running 3 miles again in no time, just make it to this 20 mins. One step at a time, girl, you’ll be fierce again, you got this!”
Well I did make it to 20 mins, and I felt really proud of myself. And then I remembered the high – that natural high I always got from a good run. My body was finally awake; no need for a second, third or fourth cup of coffee to get me in gear. I was feeling the burn and loving it — that was my little slice heaven.
So here’s to the good days that cancel out the bad. Chin up my friends, baby steps until you’re ready for longer strides. I believe in you YOU’VE GOT THIS!!!
Video Source: YouTube (https://youtu.be/QgnJ8GpsBG8)
Contents written: December 8 2015 | Copyright 2015 Moylom Enterprises