Yesterday, a friend and I ran 13.1 miles.
(Which involved getting up at 3:30 am to drive to a drop point on the other side of town in order to be bused to the way-out-there start-lines, where we stood huddled in the cold and dark, clustered around heat lamps with all the other participants until it was finally time to start the race. /Whew!)
My plan/goal was just to finish. I was thinking of keeping a nice slow pace ("la-la-dee-dah") and breezing into the finish having accomplished merely running father than I previously have.
My friend, however, was in this to push hard and make a time goal.
So we found ourselves running at a nice stiff pace that I usually reserve for much shorter distances. I kept thinking we'd eventually slow down, but the miles flew past and we kept that pace like clockwork. The last two miles, pushing to the end of our limits I was SURE we'd slow down, but still we kept that pace. (It was NOT comfortable at this point.) And then finally the homestretch and a sprint to the finish, and zohMyGAWD that hurt SO MUCH!!... But we did it.
It made me realize how much I hold back, satisfied to stay in comfortable safe areas, when actually I have the capability to push farther/harder/faster. This, not just in running. In personal relationships and my professional life as well.
It's a fairly straightforward thing to pick up the running pace a bit. Not so simple to explain what that means in personal and professional aspects of my life, but it's something I am thinking about.
There is this: I would NOT have kept up that pace if I had not had my friend next to me, motivating me, encouraging me. (Thank you Katy.)
Meanwhile... My knees and my quads are ANGRY at me for keeping that less-comfortable pace. Ice packs and ibuprofen are helping.
[Here, here and here are the posts chronicling the building of my active life.]