If you dare to dream big, you need to put in the work.
I have big dreams, and I am working hard.
As Britney says, "you gotta work bitch." It's become my theme song.
I get up in the morning, and I run. I finish work, and I run. I go out to a party, I run there and stumble back. Anything to get in the miles.
I've been enjoying the grind. It gives me a sense of purpose, a mission. And if my body holds up, I will finish 2017 with a fitness level I never thought possible.
(I'm in a good mood, so I converted to miles for all you non-metric folk )
You all know that my heart is on the trails, but one of my dreams involves hundreds of kilometres of pavement running, so I've been mixing pavement into my daily grind. Yesterday I joined my friend Leo for a casual 115km run around the city. I'll be honest, this run terrified me. Pavement never fails to leave me feeling crippled and injured; I had no business attempting a run of this magnitude. And yet... If I was going to chase my dreams I needed to test myself. I needed to believe in myself. I am not the runner I was. I am stronger, more resilient.
You can view our route here.
In addition to being terrified of running for hours upon hours on the pavement, I was terrified of spending that long with someone. What are we supposed to talk about for 12+ hours. I mean, we are good friends, but nobody is that interesting.
I needn't have worried. After the initial catch up, we hardly talked to each other. As Leo put it, we are like an old married couple. Comfortable enough with each other to just hang out and say nothing. Besides, the wind made it too hard to hear each other anyway. Speaking of wind ...
The weather on Sunday was less than ideal. The wind gusts were strong enough that at times it felt like we were barely making forward progress. As a result, we altered our planned route to utilize more sheltered pathways. This cut our route down from 130km+ to 115km. I think we were both okay with the shortcutting.
I hit my lowest point when we were battling into the wind, ice pellets from the swirling snow pelting my face.
I complained to Leo, but he was relentlessly positive. His positivity pissed me off... but then I ate a chocolate bar and I started to feel better.
Some friends met us with a pop up aid station during my lowest point emotionally, around 90km into the run. They had chicken noodle soup, coffee, cheeseburgers and Timbits. Once the food settled my legs came alive. Poor Leo, now I was the annoyingly positive person while he battled his own inner demons. But Leo is one of the toughest runners I know, and he gutted it through to the finish.
We finished the run on a high, having made it back to our vehicles without having to turn on our headlights.
Here are our splits for you data geeks out there:
It was an unbelievable run. I could not believe, still can't believe, that we were not reduced to a run walk strategy by the end. I knew Leo was tough, but I did not believe that I had that kind of ability within myself.
Today I am sore, but not broken. I will go out and run for a few minutes to get some blood flow moving. Putting in the work.
Until next time, happy trails