I’m no Blackstreet (Come to think of it, lately I’ve barely been Black on the street!). But if I had to pick four words to describe my running these days, those words wound be: No discipline. Self-doubt.
Blame it on the crushing winter we just barely survived. The cold and dark took a serious toll on my adrenaline storage. When Spring finally showed itself, I was beyond help. I’d faithfully set my alarm every night…then hit the snooze button every morning without fail. Our weekly group run was consistently shelved for a variety of reasons: spring cleaning, end of year activities at my kids’ school, late nights with a bottle of red moscato, making plans for summer camp, a barrage of social commitments, Good Times on Netflix (Dynamite!), you name it!
To be honest, my most strenuous activity was running my mouth, with the same enthusiasm that I once used to hit the track. Probably more, since it’s a lot easier to find someone to gossip with than it is to find someone to run with.
Sure I still took on the occasional run event, usually running on fumes between not enough breakfast and not enough sleep (again: Netflix). I was devastated in April when I failed at my first 10k — a late start and a wrong turn led me, well short of my goal, to the 5k finish line. Boo. I succeeded in my second attempt at a 10k in June but with a half-hearted effort, walking more than half the course when I knew I could do much better. I planned to run stretches of 15 minutes but I kept giving in after 2 minutes and just started strolling. My mind told me I was too tired, too old, too stupid to even try to do something like this, and I believed it. I didn’t challenge myself. I just didn’t “feel like it”.
Then, a small spark was lit under the heavy cloak of laziness I wore. What was the catalyst? A great sale on capri running tights. These tights are so good (wicking, strong seams, zip pocket) and the price was so right… Yes, it sounds superficial but when it works, it works. And the lure of the comfortable fit of new running tights? I was unexpectedly rejuvenated.
So I went to bed early and set my alarm clock for 5:35AM. In the morning, I jumped out of bed with gusto. I geared up and hit the sidewalk like I was high-fiving a good friend. The goal? Just run. Don’t think. Don’t make excuses. Don’t do intervals. Don’t stop til you get enough.
To my surprise, I finished 4.07 km in 33 minutes without stopping. I amazed myself, recognizing that the energy, the ability, and the enjoyment that I used to have was still stored away somewhere in my mind and my body. It just took a little digging. Or should I say, no diggity!
New motto: I like the way I worked it. Self-discipline. No doubt.