So, I did this thing five years ago, where I ran using the Jack Daniels' training program (yes, it's a real program designed by an excellent exercise physiologist). Every week completed I took a shot of Jack Daniel's Whiskey and did my best to blog about the week.
Being a lightweight, it got harder and harder to be interesting, or even coherent, as the training progressed. But I persevered.
This time, trying the same program, I ran off the rails the first week. Oh, the training went fine, but when I sat down last Sunday to do my shot and write in this blog I didn't have any energy for either. So I scrapped the idea and went to sleep.
Today, however, I'm trying to make up for lost time. Shot done, and nursing the second. Let's see how coherent I can be.
I have this theory; training is great for the body, and getting strong and dealing with stress are but two of the many wonderful physiological benefits I get from running. But the biggest thing that training does for me is making me comfortable with a whole new level of suck.
So as I run, and things get tough, I think to myself: "Well self, this isn't so bad. I could get used to this. And if this is the new normal, than regular life is really pretty blissful, when all is said and done."
And suddenly that which was rough becomes normal, and my mind takes a shift towards being tougher than it was before.
So I did this run last Wednesday that was run three miles hard, then take a three minute break, than run another three miles hard. After that, run easy for about an hour.
The running hard was rough. The break felt nice, but the three minutes went by about as quickly as when kissing a new found love. The next three miles of fast was an exercise in forcing my body to endure, then an hour of easy running which- even though slow- still felt awfully rough.
But I got a little bit better at dealing with the Suck. And today's long run- a double loop of the bike trail at Pontiac Rec didn't seem so bad. 20 miles, but it was okay. And the company helped a lot.
So that was the big realization of the week, even though it's pretty self evident. Embrace the difficulty, and later difficulties won't seem as bad.
And hopefully next week I'll be tougher than I am today.