Friday, July 4, 2014

The Voice

     I've been wanting to share this for a few days, however my schedule has been just ridiculous. I hadn't had the time to share much through this blog.  I'm sure that will change as we get into fall marathon training soon and closer to a couple of highly anticipated trail races I have coming in September and October.  But first, a revelation I had Sunday before last.  
     I was feeling rather lazy that morning and usually I'm up and out of the house hitting the trails on Sunday mornings.  I decided to sleep in this time.  I had pretty much a Saturday off after grinding out a 24 mile training run Friday night into the wee hours of the morning.  So I opted to do my Sunday run on the streets of Carrollton, but I did not want to wait until evening to do it.  Why not afternoon?  I hadn't really run any true hot weather runs in a couple years.  There was a reason why.  Because when I did, it was miserable.  I felt I was a much smarter runner now and would be able to handle it.  I chose a route that had plenty water fountains on it.  On the schedule was 12 miles.
     As I set out on my trek, I was very cautious of my pace.  There was a slight haze over the sun so the heat was not a total beat down.  I didn't even check the current weather conditions before I started but I'm going to guess it was around 85-90 degrees and humid.  It had just rained a couple hours before.  I had just moved to this area of Carrollton two weeks ago however my run routes hadn't changed much, I would just be running on the opposite ends of them.
 The first half of the run was not hard at all, I kept a steady slow pace.  It was an out-and-back route, I got to the turn around and start coming back.  The only difference is that now I'm facing the sun and most of the route going back was uphill.  I wanted to keep the same pace and push through.  I have gotten so accustomed to running with another person or group, it was like I never really had to push myself.  The run started to get really difficult. That's when a voice popped off in my head.
     "Hey" it said.  "See that tree over there?  Make it to that tree."  I see the tree, maybe 200 yards away, I kept pace slinging sweat everywhere and made it to the tree.  "Okay, now run to where you see the trail make a bend to the right."  I follow the instruction and get to the spot.  Then the voice says, "The third tree just past that red car parked up there."  I see what what is going on now.  "Okay I got you, I see what's up", I told the voice.  This went on for a couple miles.  Then I see a steep hill coming.  "Hey, I said.  What about that hill coming?  What now?"  The voice cuts me off in mid sentence and says, "Just run to the fire hydrant fool".  I get close to the fire hydrant which is halfway up the hill, I'm panting and sweating more and look to the top of the hill when the voice blurts out "Don't look at that, look at the fire hydrant like I said!  Don't worry about what's past that fire hydrant until you get to it.  One thing at time.  And stop looking at that Garmin, it won't help you."  I made it to the fire hydrant.  And wait for the next instruction "Okay, get to the STOP sign."  So segment by segment the voice helped me through the run.  I was so into it, I never really paid attention to where I was on the route.  "Okay, now look at your Garmin." it said.  I looked and I only had one mile left to go.  "Cool down mile", the voice said.  "Don't worry about thanking me."
     Now I really don't have voices popping off in my head when I run.  Umm, let me stop lying, yes I do and sometimes I do talk to myself when I run.  True story, but more importantly it helped me with something else.  Recently I took on a new role at my job and have been having some anxiety centered around all of the new responsibilities and higher expectations that came with it.  I had to remember that first of all my manager would not have recommended me for it if she didn't think I could do it.  What this run helped me with is to remember that if I tackle each job a task at a time, I can make it through no matter how tough it gets.  We hear that cliche that athletes use taking it "one day, or one play at a time", but it really is how to have steadfastness in achieving something despite difficulty or delay.  Needless to say, these past couple off weeks at work have kicked my ass.  But applying what I was reminded of on that run, I am right on point with my duties.  So excuse me now while I make it to this next tree.


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