March 13, 2009


When I started all of this, RC told me Phase III would be the hardest.

And I truly believed him.

Until I got through with Phase I and II and realized I was alot more capable than I initially gave myself credit immediately thought Phase III was NOT going to be as difficult as he made it out to be, because if I made it through the first half of all of this, the rest would be a piece of cake...right?

Well, there's a reason he's called Run Coach, and I'm just called Learning How to Run Amy.

He was right.

Phase III is a bitch (sorry Mom.)

And what's more is that he was right about Phase III being mentally hard, and not physically hard. I have found myself struggling to motivate myself with each and every run this week.

And yes, a little of it has to do with running away from my comfort zone and without my friends, and a little has to do with the fact that I've felt like I swallowed a box of razor blades all week.

But really, I had no idea how mentally taxing this was going to be.

Every single day begins with a struggle, and continues to be a struggle until I get out there and tackle whatever run I've got scheduled. Every-single-day.

And what's even more ironic is that I'm nailing them. I'm getting out there and doing it, and doing it really well! But my mind seems to forget all of that by the next day and I clamp up in fear that I'm not going to be able to do it.

I've had 3 runs this week (I told you it's been tough). My 9 miler with the 2 miles at marathon pace: tough but I aced it. Wednesday's run was 4 x 1000m repeats at 7:56 - nailed it. Today was 3 x 1 mile cruise intervals at an 8:26 pace: nailed it again.

But yet it's a struggle.

Until today I haven't been able to pinpoint why it's all been so tough. But, during my 2 mile cool down, as I was listening to some Indigo Girls on my ipod, I realized what the problem is:

I do this to myself regularly. When I'm unfamiliar with something (for example, every run this week has been something I've never done before), I sortof clam up and take the "testing the waters" approach. I'll put my big toe in, and then if it feels okay, maybe all of my toes...after 10 minutes or so I may have put my entire foot's a long, slow process that I do with most everything. I'm calling it "fear induced procrastination." I think my philosophy is if I procrastinate long enough, or give the appearance that I'm trying it out, it might go away before I have to fully commit. Unfortunately, RC isn't going anywhere and I'm totally accountable to him on a weekly basis so I'm forced to commit. As I thought about this, I realized that I've done two things without even thinking about them: jumping out of an airplane and getting a tattoo. Since alcohol may or may not have been involved in both of those cases, I'm going to keep them as the exception and certainly not the rule (and sorry again Mom).
Why do I do this?

I spend alot of useless time worrying about what might or might not happen, rather than just doing it and thinking about it later!

Maybe this is all part of finding my inner inner Chi (but not So Chi, since I totally know where that is now). Maybe that's why we put ourselves through all of this, day in and day out. To constantly go where we've never gone before. To learn and to grow. And to become better people in the process.

That's what I learned today while nailing a 3 x 1 mile interval workout.

Who knew running would turn out to be my therapy?

On tap for tomorrow:
5 mile slicedown (and I'm not even going to think about it again until tomorrow!)

Have a great weekend!


RC said...


One must dive into the unknown if one is to find true knowledge about oneself.

You move ever closer to taking the pebble from my hand.

TimC said...

If a bird never leaves the nest, it never learns to fly. And if it doesn't leave on it on, then the mother shall kick it out and prove they have the power to fly even if they dont belive it themself.

TimC said...

I went out on my own in the last one and listened to you and look what happened, PR.

Anne said...

I wrote about this once, but you nailed it in this post. A wise old fisherman on the Outer Banks once said, upon having to do something he knew was right and knew was needed but knew he didn't want to do it anyway. "The dreadin' is always worse than the doin'."