"I'll begin to love the rain as soon as it goes away." -- unknown
Unless you have been living under a rock, you've probably heard that California (where I live now) has been experiencing a drought. This is not good. Our water tables are rapidly replenishing, and our lakes are going dry. Everyone is taking measures to conserve water, and we all pray for rain. And still? Not super duper thrilled about the rain. Do I like how it smells? Oh, heck yeah! Do I like how it cleans our air? Absolutely! But rainy days mean indoor training days, and I hate running on the treadmill (first world problems, I know).
This week was the start of what runners refer to as tapering... and no, I didn't know that was a thing when I ran back in college. :) Tapering is when runners slow down and recover just prior to their big race. It usually follows their last and longest training run - for me, this was after my 13.5 mile exercise on New Year's eve. Tapering doesn't mean that you stop training, it just means that you reduce your mileage. I should be doing at least two or three 3 mile runs this week, a longer run (around 4-5 miles) this weekend, and two more 3 mile runs next week. SHOULD be...
I did 3 miles on Sunday, and woke up on Monday sick as a dog. I took it easy Monday night, only to wake up even worse on Tuesday. Feeling a little better yesterday, I forced myself to do at least a couple of miles in the gym last night. I hate indoor running, but I did it... and I beat my PR for the 2nd mile. I went to the gym feeling a little better tonight, and a little more confident, but...
My run sucked. The gym was packed (for the first time this year), and I was lucky to snag a treadmill. I got on, turned on my interval timer, and started my workout. I was a good three minutes in when my bluetooth headphones died. I'm usually pretty good at not comparing myself to others when I'm on the treadmill, and kinda tune the whole place out, but tonight I got to hear what the crappy girls next to me had to say. Did they really just make fun of my interval pace? Um, dude... I'm 5'2". And chunky. Going 3.5 miles on my walking interval is not turtle pace. Did she seriously scoff that my run/jog interval is only a minute? UGH! Mind your beeswax, ladies!
While the cattiness of my treadmill neighbors should have motivated me, it just made me upset. I was already having a hard time breathing (thanks to this cold and my asthma), and my legs were tired. These mean girls managed to make me less motivated, and I finished only 1.5 miles of my planned 3 mile run. I think I literally slapped the stop button when I decided to end my workout. I jumped off, sprayed down the machine, and went to the locker room.
Why do we allow other people to impact how we feel about ourselves? These
girls children are immature. Neither of them were doing any more than I was doing. Did they do 13.5 miles last week? I don't know. Have they ran over 55 miles since December 1st? Maybe they have, maybe they haven't... but regardless... I DID. After I finished stretching in the locker room, I splashed some water on my face and took a cold hard look at myself. One year ago, I wouldn't be complaining about "only" doing a mile and a half run - I would have been celebrating it. Two years ago, I wouldn't have even tried.
So, before I left the gym, I decided to not walk away with my head down. I didn't "just" do a mile and a half, I did a mile and a half! That's more than a lot of people do! So I took a smiling selfie before I left the locker room to remind me of this moment. While I do not have to be more than I already am, I know I can and will do better. I don't have to live up to other people's expectations - I just need to live up to and exceed my own. People are all different, and we all work a little differently. If I do nothing else in 2016, I will at least be kinder to myself. I owe it to me... and to my nieces and nephew that look up to me. I challenge each of you to consider doing the same. Be kind to yourself... and one another.
PS: This website was a good resource for me as I trained myself how to properly taper. Thought you might find it useful too!