I recently found a friend to train with. One of the ladies that runs on Saturday, who I happen to know outside of our training group, asked me if I would like to run together in the mornings. I said “YES!!!!” …..and then the hard work really began.
You know I have written a lot about the fun and joy of running, but I don’t know if I have accurately portrayed my experience. I remember all the exhilaration and post run thrill of having completed a challenge but I forget the waking up and groaning and trying to keep my eyes open while getting dressed and the first bite of not-so-warm air as you drag your half-asleep self out into the darkness over and over again, every day, forever…..running is hard work.
My friend and I have been running together now for about two weeks and the first week was tough. We had to iron out the kinks, figure out what worked best for us and are still experimenting with our schedule but some things have remained constant. It is still a challenge, I still wake up @ 4:30 each morning we run, and once I get started I always feel great. Sometimes I worry that I won’t be able to go the distance or speed but I get out and do it anyway and surprisingly enough I can do more than I realized. The running itself has been a great mix of grit, fun conversation and that runners “high” as we’ve really dug in and worked together. Preparing for the running, going to bed on time (we both have young children) oh and did I mention getting up early?!?-has been tough and challenging and made so much easier SO MUCH EASIER by the fact that I have a friend who is doing it with me.
I think I just wanted to share two vital points: #1-running is hard work, takes determination, dedication, preparation and to a certain degree-sacrifice (yes, I love my fluffy pillow)-it is hard work so you have to LOVE IT, and #2-having a partner in crime makes THE difference. Find someone to run, walk, bike, change eating habits…with. Now I would suggest finding someone who shares your mentality about it or who runs about the same distance/speed as you do-or if you are extremely lucky like me, you have a friend who is far better, more experienced and yet willing to drag you along for the ride.
I love running, I love sleeping too, but I love how I feel, what I accomplish-not just on my run but everything else in my life feels more manageable, so the hours and planning and abandoning my pillow SO EARLY each morning is worth it. If you enjoy running but find it challenging, keep up the good work, hang in there, the hard days will turn into not so hard days, then into kinda fun days, then all of the sudden they will turn into days you just can’t live without. Push through the crummy days to get to that mountain top and enjoy the view of how far you’ve come.!!