Not Letting My Brain Give Up

Rabbit RambleI’ve read the quote a million times, “It’s not your legs giving out, it’s your head giving up. Keep going.” I think about that a lot when I run, because my head likes to give up fairly quickly.

Today I woke up with sore calves. I had 11 miles on the schedule, but I had registered for a 4 mile community race. The forecast said high winds and rain. I was not in the mood to do a single thing.

An hour before the race, I looked out the window and saw blue skies. I couldn’t make excuses. I had wimped out about working out yesterday, and I couldn’t do it again.

So, I put on my sneakers, layered up, and headed to the race. I kept reminding myself to take it slow, so I wouldn’t hurt myself more.

The short version of the race:

  • I arrived with 3 minutes to spare, and still had to pick up my race packet
  • It was incredibly windy
  • My music cut out at 2.3 miles

Of course, when my music cut out, I was frustrated. I didn’t want to start walking just to bug with my phone, so I was running in silence, listening to the wind whipping and the heavy breathing and grunting around me from the other exhausted runners.

But I kept going. I so badly wanted to walk a bit, just to give myself some relief. Each time I wanted to, I checked everything. Do my feet hurt? Do my shins or knees hurt? Am I hurting anywhere else? No? Keep going. So, I went. I ran and ran, and each time I checked my pace I was moving a little too fast considering my goal was to get through it slowly without hurting myself.

I crossed the finish line and turned off my watch…and realized that I had run much faster than I wanted to…but met an awesome goal that I didn’t even set for myself! I had run my first sub-10 minute pace; for four miles, no less!

I was really excited. Really really excited. My brain wanted to give up, but I beat it. It was really the first time in a long time that I beat my own brain. I didn’t get the 11 miles in that I was supposed to, but I don’t even care! I beat a goal, won myself a gold star, and feel awesome.

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