A few weeks ago my Saturday run was to be 90 minutes. No problem: I can run 90 minutes. It depends on how fast I have to run that’s the issue.
My workout was to be a longer warm-up and then run progressively faster paces for 10 minutes, repeat three times. I planned out my route and planned to run the paces mostly uphill. I figured I might as well make it worth my effort.
My kids were running a 1 km and 5 km race in the morning. I was restless all Friday night. How fast should I run, I should be sleeping already, would the rain hold off, how much after the kids’ run should I run? I am almost as nervous about long runs as I am about racing.
The next morning we got dressed, ate, and managed to be out of the house on time. It was cool out, but no rain.
Both of the kids’ races went great. My daughter ran her first 5km and had enough left in her to sprint at the finish. I was more proud of her than I felt finishing my first marathon.
With that done, it was my turn to go for a run. It started to pour heavily. I heat up a lot when I run, but when I’m not moving I get really cold really fast. Even with gloves on my hands felt slightly numb. I knew I needed to keep going. The point of this run was to do the workout and finish it.
I made it up to the big hills where I had planned to do my workout. They were just as steep as I remember.
I last ran this road when I was on a group run in the summer. The route then seemed long, and hard, and hilly. I remember that I finished the route and was glad those hills were over. I was glad I wouldn’t have to do that again.
Yet, here I was. This time, running alone, I felt stronger than the person I was last year. I’m the person who pulls back when things get hard. When someone passes me in a race I don’t try to surge ahead and keep up. I don’t push through my fears or pain, I defer. I assume someone is always stronger than I am.
But I ran those hills. I finished my run in that pouring rain. My legs were tired but I knew I could still run on tired legs. I was patient. I kept going.
I learned that confidence comes through doing. I learned that I was stronger than I thought.