This post comes a little late, and I wrote it a few days ago, but World Cup Cricket has taken over this nation. No apologies.
I was doing my usual workout at my gym on my day off. It had been a while and I wanted to get back into some routine. The workout went well and I went to the treadmill to do my usual 10 minute, post workout run. So, this run may not have changed my life in the way you might be expecting, but it was significant for this reason. A thought entered my head as I began running. “What if I just ran until I couldn’t run anymore? No looking at the monitor revealing my progress, just personal drive. How far could I run?”
I can say right now that I didn’t keep to this regime. About 4k’s in I just had to look. 4k’s…hmm. The most I’d ever run was 5k’s. I was doing fine. My pace was good, my breathing controlled, and I felt like “upping the ante.” It was then that I said to myself, “Okay…I’ve made it to 4k’s. When I get to 5k’s, I’ll just keep running and see how far I get.” It was just then that a series of Justin Timberlake songs came on my playlist. No shame. This made the run fun and took my mind off the task of running itself. By the time the songs were done, I looked at the monitor: 6.2 k’s! I had surpassed the furthest I had ever run! Whoa! This got me thinking again, “If I just passed the furthest I’ve ever ran, how much further can I run?” I decided right then and there to double the furthest I’d ever run. I would run to 10k’s. What. What. What was I doing?
At 7k’s I seriously began to regret the decision I had made. It was at this moment that a thought popped into my head, “The first time you tried to run 5k’s, you wanted to know if you could do it right away. No holds bared, no excuses, no stopping. And what happened? You did it! You found out that you could do something that you never thought you could. Yeah 5k’s is not exactly far, but it was a finish line never crossed. You crossed it. You conquered it. What if you approached this run the same way?” No way. There was no way. I was 3k’s from reaching 10k’s and I was tired. I was really tired. Usually by now I would stop and say, “It’s not worth it.” For some reason, today, I said, “This has to stop. This mentality is poisoning everything I do.This run WILL be worth it.”
I buckled down and cranked up the speed. I was going hard out now, increasing the speed from 8 to 10. In no time I reached 8k’s. I was looking at the monitor much more frequently now. My back was now completely covered in sweat and I was in a rhythm. This was my second wind. I wanted to reach that goal so badly. I reached down and cranked the speed up to 12. I was booking it now. Racing down the metaphorical track and keeping the goal in sight. The 9th kilometer was the hardest. I basically watched the progress go up, making the running much more difficult. I was remembering why I hate running so much and wondering why anyone does this.
I then took myself back to three years ago when I ran 4 miles…the most I have ever run. Around mile 3, I have never wanted to quit anything more in my life. I was in delirium and a motivational trance from my running partner. His sweet words of encouragement were the only things keeping me going…that and me visualising the words, “DON’T STOP.” I made it the full 4 miles and was overwhelmed with a euphoria that is hard to describe. I had accomplished something I thought impossible for myself. I pushed myself to the “breaking point” and then passed the breaking point. I have a new breaking point! It felt really good. I felt like doing something else I thought impossible.
Jumping back to the treadmill, the 9th kilometer became 9.1. I cranked the speed to 13. I was going to sprint the rest of the way home. I made it to 9.3 before I was humbled, and lowered it to 11. 9.3 became 9.45 which became 9.6. My legs were now on autopilot and all I could think about was that I was about to double the furthest I previously had run. The last time I had run long distance, I had run 5k’s. By the time I
was done smiling about this, I was at 9.8k’s. Now I cranked it back to 13 to sprint the rest of the way. 9.89, 9.92, 9.97, 9.99…..10k’s!!!! I raised my arms in the air, hit the emergency stop button, hopped off the treadmill and starting walking around the gym to prevent blood from pooling in my legs. Oh man….Dizzy….and whoa…I still felt like I was running! Weird! I walked it off, stretched and got in my car. As I was driving back home, I couldn’t help but remember my benchmark. I did the math and had to double check it on the calculator on my phone….Just over 6 miles? No…If I doubled my run, I would have run a half marathon. WHAT?! I hate running? How did I do that?? Do I hate running? My universe was collapsing. I smiled. I had a new benchmark. I pushed past the impossible, again. It felt better than before. I think I’m a fan.
So there you have it. A 10 minute run turning into a 10K life changing moment. Push yourself. You’ll find that you are more capable than you give yourself credit for.