Oh my gosh, I thought I was going to die! 11 miles today and each every single damn one made me want to scream. It’s pretty slushy out in the park, my usual training ground, so instead I went to the Y to run on a treadmill like a hamster. Whenever I look at a packed gym, with people running to nowhere, I always get the image that they’re just powering the air conditioning. Not a bad idea actually…
From the moment I started running my knee hurt and it didn’t go away the entire time. I tried watching TV, which worked until I checked how many miles I’d run so far. I thought I was 6 miles in, but I was only 2.5! That seriously messed with my mind. I had to quiet it down again by trying to focus on my breathing. I had read in one of my personal training magazines that the lungs are just like any other muscle, and if we don’t fully use them they will atrophy, just like your biceps or any other muscle in your body will with inactivity. Plus, it helps put you “in the zone”. I tried breathing in for 2, holding for 2, and then out for 2, which helped for a bit, but soon after my mind began wandering again and I wanted to kill someone.
I had to keep thinking that I could technically stop at any time, but I knew that if I did I would be mad at myself for not just sticking it out. I knew it was all in my head. Last week I had an amazing run and it was only 1 mile less than this week, so I could psych myself up to finish this week too. Eventually it has to end, right?
Then I tried the TV again, and that worked for about 10 minutes until I couldn’t handle even having headphones in my ears. Everything was irritating me. Someone got on the treadmill next to me and they smelled like those old apartment buildings that smell like 4 different types of bad cooking. Great, now I have knee pain, I’m irritated, I’m sweating like it’s going out of style, and this woman who smells like old meatballs and fish is running next to me.
Ok, only 2 more miles to go. The longest 2 miles ever and I so wanted to quit. My running partner had already finished by this time and I sped the treadmill up even faster to finish too. I couldn’t tell if it was my mind or my muscles that were failing me, but I wasn’t going to let either of them get me. It took everything out of me to finish. I ran and I ran and I ran and I ran and I ran for what seemed like forever, but finally the treadmill slowed down, signaling to me that I finished.
Sweat soaked my entire shirt and I couldn’t tell you what my name was at that moment. I could barely even step off the treadmill my hips were so tight. And my head was swimming, drunk on endorphins. At that moment, If I found out I won the lottery I don’t think I would have made the effort to do anything about it. I hobbled home, looking like a wounded animal. All wanted to do was just lie down and curl into a ball.
Now I’m home and I don’t think I’m going to move from this chair the entire night if I can help it. I’m completely spent, but I feel like a rock star.
There’s good failure and bad failure. Bad failure is when you hope to succeed and don’t because you didn’t try, good failure is when you don’t stop until you fail. I can honestly say that today I feel like the best failure.