If you want to run faster, you just have to run faster. Yes. FACT. But in order to run faster, you have to figure out how to embrace, enjoy, and/or become one with the pain because running faster hurts like hell.
Over the past few months, I've been struggling to find the drive to continue to push when my legs feel like they're on fire and every muscle in my body is screaming, "WHAT DID WE EVER DO TO DESERVE THIS! STOP THIS! STOP IT NOW!" The second my head gets involved, it's game over. I panic. I decide not to suffer and I give up on myself.
Back in his High School and College days, my Dad was one hell of an athlete. An All American Pac 10 champion, he knew a thing or two about getting uncomfortable and kicking it's ass. Growing up, I never talked to my Dad about his swimming career because I was never athletic. Now that I run, I've been turning to him for advice. Because I'm still struggling to push through discomfort, I asked him what he did when everything hurt and he felt like he was dying. His response? Pain is the boogyman.
Turns out, when he started swimming at Cal, he wasn't the top dog. He was a self proclaimed terrible kicker (he swam the 200m butterfly) and one day, he decided he was going to go balls to the wall and figure out just how much pain he could endure. The harder he pushed himself, the stronger he got both physically and mentally.
My Dad reminded me that it didn't make sense for me to half ass my training. Here I am, dedicating so much of my time and energy to trying to qualify for the Boston Marathon (BQ), why wouldn't I push myself to give 100% every day? The more I watch myself struggle and pull back in past BQ or Bust daily vlogs, the more I realize that my problem isn't that I'm not strong enough, it's that I forget what I'm running for in the moment. Now it's just about pushing myself every day and fighting when that little voice creeps in and says, "Enough. This hurts." Instead of saying, "I want this to be over", I need to remind myself that I'm strong enough to keep fighting. Sure it hurts but the pain is only temporary and the sense of accomplishment I get post run makes every single step worth it. That feeling of pride lasts for days.
In order to run faster, you do in fact have to run faster; but you also need to figure out what's going to motivate you to fight when the pain starts to overshadow your drive. In the words of Steve Roberts, pain is just the Boogyman.
Until next time, #RunSelfieRepeat.