Sweat from the Heart: Test What You’re Made Of

Sweat from the Heart: Test What You’re Made Of

Sweat from the Heart: Coach Bree’s blog


Sometimes you need to let yourself go harder and further (than what your training plan calls for) just to test what you’re made of.

Sunday’s run was scheduled to be a 10 miler. This was an “active recovery” run from Saturday’s hilly bike ride and tempo run. Basically, run slow and get in the 10 miles. Up until 7:45am on Sunday, that was the plan.

I was invited to a free group run at a local run shop. At first I didn’t plan to go, but when I learned my friend, Sanaa, would be there, I was all over it! Having a friend to run with helps when the alarm goes off at 5:45am on Sunday morning.

The run course was marked for 12 miles, but turning back sooner was an option, and one in which I planned on doing. Again, my plan called for an easy 10 mile run.

And here’s how the run went:

I enjoyed the company of my friend for the first few miles, but soon, my legs felt good and she made me run away 🙂 So I ran solo for a good 4 miles, before my old college teammate, Anita, ditched her guy group to run with a girl 😉 And that’s when the pace picked up. You see, when you run with a “Boston Marathon Qualifier Phenom” who has sights on the Marathon Olympic trials, you aren’t going to run slow! Ha! The pace immediately dropped by 1 minute. But it didn’t feel that fast because we were so busy talking and catching up on each other’s lives. It was like old times when we were running in college!

At the finish line of a XC meet. Anita took first and I took second. We don't look happy because we're tired ;)

I found this pic from 2002!! At the finish line of a Cross-Country meet. Anita took 1st and I took 2nd. We don’t look happy because we’re tired 😉

We were so busy talking and having a great time, that I missed the 5 mile turnaround point. So there it was, at 7:45am, a 10 miler becoming a 12 miler! At an hour into the run, I felt the pace become challenging, and this is where I was faced with slowing down or maintaining it. I decided to maintain it and see what I was capable of doing. 4 miles to go! We kept talking and that helped take my mind off the discomfort. My legs were still tired from Saturday’s hard workout, but I felt strong. The last mile sucked because we had to climb hills to get back to the store, but once we got to flat road, it was smooth sailing!

I ran a lot faster than my training plan called for, but I learned a lot about myself that day. 1- I recover quickly, 2- I’m stronger than I know, 3- it’s okay to deviate from the plan every once in a while to see what you’re capable of doing.

Feeling strong!

Feeling strong!

My confidence grew from that run. I drove home proud of myself. I didn’t realize how much I have doubted my abilities. That run gave me clarity. I don’t give myself enough credit. And I’m pretty sure I am not the one. We are ALL stronger than we know, yet, we let doubt and fear hold us back. Why? What’s there to be scared of? Dying the last mile in your run and having to walk the rest of the way back? So what if it happens? Well, then you learned a lesson: that you ran too fast. You learn more about yourself during trials. The result is you become a wiser athlete. You learn what works and what doesn’t.  And when you succeed, your confidence grows and you become a better athlete. So I challenge you to take a risk and see what happens. It can be in the sport of running, triathlon, or fitness classes. Whatever it is, jump in and go for it! Sweat from the heart!

Oh, and I must add….Sanaa and I scored these awesome tees after the run! How cool is that?! Go Spurs Go!!



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