I love when I have those runs where I feel like I could forever. Funny thing is, they don’t always start off that way. We went out on Wednesday to do our usual route at the running store. The first jaunt downhill was alright. The pavement steadily maintained its flight underneath me. Trying to breathe, keeping my legs and arms moving. I felt okay.
Then I didn’t.
I just hurt. My legs ached. My stomach was a little upset. I had a side stitch. But I kept going. I didn’t want to let Craig down, and I kept trying to talk myself out of stopping. You’re almost there, I’d think. Don’t wuss out. That old woman is blazing past you. (Truth is, most of the old people that meet up on Wednesdays blaze past me.) I kept going, going, going until we reached the big hill that we typically walk up.
I was so glad for a break. I tried to catch my breath, stretch my arms (which oddly get so tired when I run), and then it happened. I got the WORST cramp in my left calf. I cried out it hurt so badly. It felt like someone was wringing out my muscle like a washcloth. Cramps always feel like the strangest pain to me. We stopped, and I stretched it out for a few minutes, and then we were back on our way.
And I felt GREAT!
It was so odd, I had that horrible pain, and then I was ready to go. I ran almost the rest of the way, stopping just for traffic and for a small walking break towards the end. And it felt good. I mean, I struggled, and my breathing was a little difficult, but I pushed through remembering other bloggers’ words: Running isn’t easy. It doesn’t always feel good, and it will hurt. But it’s worth it when you’re through.
My reward was a tasty, frothy, cold Michelob at the finish line.
Victory. Sweet, bubbly, buzz-inducing victory.
I like to think I represented hardcore with my running attire choice for the day.
Gotta rep-re-sent. (I know it’s wrinkled. Don’t hate. As Claudia of BSC once said, “Wrinkles add character.”)
Do you find that the first mile/few miles are the hardest? Do you push through it? What sort mantras do you have?