I’ve been doing boot camp since September. One of my goals has consistently been to a) get better at running b) learn to enjoy running. It is now March and well, I still hate running as much as I did when I first started. It doesn’t feel as bad, but I still hate doing it.
In order to avoid falling on the ground and crying during our runs (which are usually 2.5 – 3 miles long) I try to find little ways to motivate myself to help get me through it. For instance, if on a particular route I usually have to stop at a certain point, I try to go past that point the next time we run that route before stopping to walk and catch my breath. I also try to find markers and pass them. I’ll tell myself “you can stop after you pass this tree coming up!” And then when I get to the tree, I try to go even a little bit farther.
I hate that I have to think so much during my runs, I wish I could just enjoy the music, the fresh air and think about happy things. But, no. I have to fight through every minute of the run. I have to tell myself “JUST GET PAST THIS TREE THAN YOU CAN WALK FOR A MINUTE” the entire run.
Today, we did a 2.5 mile run. The first mile was all uphill. I knew it was going to suck because uphill is the worst. My instructor stayed with me, which was awesome/not awesome because she would only let me stop for 10 seconds at a time. Then she’d be all “Pick it up, RUN!” I was dying, I hated every second of it. At one point, she said “just make it to this stop light, then it’s all flat or downhill.”
I told myself once we made it past that signal, I was going to run the rest of the way without stopping. I’ve told myself that before. I’ve tried doing it. But I have never quite made it without having to stop at some point to catch my breath.
When we turned the corner after passing the signal, I stopped for a few seconds. Then I told myself “Let’s DO THIS!”
I started to run. I ran for a few minutes and then everything in my body was all “STOP AND WALK. STOP AND WALK. WALK WALK WALK.”
But I pushed through. I tried tuning into the music. I tried thinking about other things.
Stop. Stop. Stop. went my brain.
Keep running. Keep running. Keep running. said my heart.
Everything inside of me wanted to stop. But I didn’t. I kept running. And just when I thought I couldn’t keep going, a fellow “Camper” jogged up next to me.
“I can’t stop now.” I thought. “Just keep up with him.”
And I did. And it felt good.
I didn’t stop until we reached the stop light.
My instructor gave me a high five.
“How did that feel?” She asked. “Didn’t it feel amazing.”
“Yes.” I replied. “It felt amazing.”
It probably sounds dumb, but I was so proud of myself for not stopping. Small victories are what keeps me going and coming back for more.