Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (January 15, 1929)
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.