Yesterday was my 35th birthday. It was important to me to get to the gym. I’ve actually gotten to the point where going to workout is a treat, not a chore. As I was jogging on the treadmill I set the pace to my usual 5.5 mph. For the last few weeks I have set it at that pace for the first mile, then set it down to 3.5 for about an eighth of a mile. Then I finish with long stretches of 5.5 with some 3.5 walking in between.
In the last month I’ve run two 5K races. My goal at both of them was a 12 minute mile pace, and I achieved that both times. Now I’m ready to set a new goal. I want to jog the entire 3.1 miles. Yesterday as I approached the completion of the first mile, I was preparing to punch the speed down to 3.5. Then I thought of this saying.
“The workout begins when you want to quit.”
I don’t remember where I first heard that, but it struck a chord. I realized that for me to improve, I couldn’t keep doing the same thing. If I want to grow, I have to push through the barriers that I create. So I kept going. I was ready to slow down, but I didn’t. That’s when the workout started. That is when the growth started. That is when getting stronger happened.
I pushed through and found myself jogging past 1.25 miles. Then I thought about stopping. Again, I had to keep pushing. When I finally started walking, I had run for 2 miles. I completed it in 22 minutes – by far my fastest pace for that distance.
A good friend and I have signed up for two more 5K races before Halloween. I’m hoping to do at least one more. My goal now is to run a full 5K without slowing down to walk. The next step is making a two mile jog routine. The next is to not let the routine be the limit.