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FINALLY! A BREAKTHROUGH!
When I was getting ready to run the NYRR's Oakly Mini 10K, I didn't have a goal. My coach Josh Maio didn't give me any splits to hit or specific instructions like start fast and get faster which to me meant that he wanted me to have fun. (I'm not totally sure if that's what he wanted, I should have asked but I was excited about running for fun.) So I toed the line with a bunch of my friends and we took off ready to have fun.
I was loud, energetic, and most importantly, I was having a great time! I was hooting and hollering at each mile mark and when we hit mile 2, I realized I was on track for a PR so I decided to go for it. The race was HARD. Easy is not a word I would describe what I experienced but the high I felt after hitting my goal was UNPARALLELED. I was finally able to push through the discomfort and get myself to pick up the pace even though I wanted nothing more than to pull back and get comfortable.
I felt incredible and it was a big day for me. I really needed to prove to myself that I was able to get uncomfortable and hit my time goal. I have such an easier time running by feel in lieu of running to hit splits on my watch. Whenever I look at my watch, I get overwhelmed or frustrated! I worry about falling short or going too fast. Then I stop being present and I panic and then I stop having fun.
When I have fun, that's when I'm most present. I don't focus on the next mile, I focus on what is happening in the moment and being present is the secret to running. I've put a lot of pressure on myself to have a "good day". While I think there are good days, I have to stop using them as an excuse for the days when I fall short. Running faster or stronger is never going to be comfortable. I will never get strong enough for that faster pace to feel easy. I need to just go for it and remember that the feeling I get after I finish is infinitely more rewarding than the discomfort I feel during. That high and sense of accomplishment makes every painful step worth it.
Until next time, #RunSelfieRepeat.