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My biggest nemesis is running and how I am overcoming the monster.

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I’ve said it before and I’m saying it again, I hate running. Maybe because it’s boring or maybe because I’m about as graceful as a Clydesdale, but more than likely its because it hurts so bad and I suck at it. It’s my least favorite things about CrossFit.

 

When I decided to compete in next years “games open” I knew going in that running would be something I’d have to conquer and there was no way of getting around it. That meant that running would have to become a normal part of my training, which up until now I had avoided like the plague. Even though I knew I needed it, I was plotting ways on how to avoid it. I figured that I would skate by for the next few months and then slowly ease into that part of the training. Of course that was only a dream, because deep down I knew that eventually my luck would run out, and Mayra the “Coach” would utter the dreaded words “ For today’s workout you’ll be running”.

I’ve said it before and I’m saying it again, I hate running. Maybe because it’s boring or maybe because I’m about as graceful as a Clydesdale, but more than likely its because it hurts so bad and I suck at it. It’s my least favorite things about CrossFit.

 

When I decided to compete in next years “games open” I knew going in that running would be something I’d have to conquer and there was no way of getting around it. That meant that running would have to become a normal part of my training, which up until now I had avoided like the plague. Even though I knew I needed it, I was plotting ways on how to avoid it. I figured that I would skate by for the next few months and then slowly ease into that part of the training. Of course that was only a dream, because deep down I knew that eventually my luck would run out, and Mayra the “Coach” would utter the dreaded words “ For today’s workout you’ll be running”.

 

Since most of the first two weeks were dedicated to technique, I was starting to get my hopes up that running would start later, rather than sooner. I was wrong and the announcement that my first run would happen that very evening kind of shocked me. Mayra said that I was gonna swim laps that evening, which sounded great to me. When she saw my smile, she quickly followed with “Your running there” and I’m gonna time you, Montana and I are driving.
I was pretty apprehensive as I headed off with my backpack, which was filled with all my swimming gear. I cranked up the volume on my IPOD and headed down the road for the mile to the pool. I tried to convince myself that running wasn’t so bad and that it was all in my head, it wasn’t. It sucked.

 

I was doing great, I’d made it past the mail boxes and then farther down the slight grade to about the halfway point when the burning in my thighs started, but I kept moving. Of course the gradual decline turned into a gradual incline, which at that point looked like Mt. Everest, but I kept going. A little past the halfway point my legs were screaming and I was beginning to breathe pretty hard. I tried to control my breathing but that was having no affect. My heart was pounding super hard, my legs felt like Jello and my body was saying “NOOOOOOOO MOOOOOOOORE”. I tried to ignore the voice, but I gave into temptation and stopped. I didn’t want to, but had to. At that point I felt like a failure. I caught my breath and continued on to the pool, saddened that I couldn’t even run a mile.

 

My next bout with running came only a few days later.

 

Five days later we did a 1.5-mile hike to a local park so I could attempt my first ever muscle up (and of course to let Montana play). The route wasn’t to bad and only included several small hills, but when weighed down it seemed a lot farther. My pack was heavier, this time maybe around 25 lbs, plus I was pushing the jogger, which easily weighed another 40lbs. When we got there I attached the rings to a swing set and tried my first muscle up and failed. After a couple more failed attempts I decided it wasn’t going to happen that day, so I knocked out some ring dips and packed up for the hike home. Mayra had other plans and told me that I would be doing sprints in the grass. Damn! Running again! So I did the sprints, which were intertwined with push-ups and air squats, which sucked big time. At that point I hated running more than ever. On the way home she said that I wasn’t done and that I’d be swimming that night, which meant only one thing, more running.

 

As I got ready for the run after dinner Mayra said that I could drive instead of run, since I’d already ran that day. But while I sat there tying my shoes, I knew that my hate of running was something I had to overcome if I wanted to compete, and I really want to compete, so I sucked it up and decided to run instead of drive.

 

Around half a block from the house, with the music blaring in my ears, I remembered what a running coach recently told me. He said that I should run slow if I needed to, that I should run at my own pace, and that speed will come with practice. So I did just that, I ignored the impulse to run to the beat of the music and slowed my pace to a slow trudge, which was way slower than the pace I used before.


I did my own thing, not caring how fast I ran and guess what, my legs still burned, but the run was doable and I was even able to control my breathing. I made it to the pool, not in a time that would ever grace the record books, but I made it. I swam my laps and waited for Mayra to arrive, only realizing after I sat there for a bit, that she had intended for me to run home to. So, repeating what I learned earlier, I set out and made it the whole way home without stopping, showing up on my front porch with a huge grin on my face.


I’d conquered my fear/hate of running. I’d accomplished something that I figured would be my downfall. Although I have a long way to go, I’ll get there. It might be by doing baby steps, but what the heck baby steps are better than nothing.

 

 

See you in the hills.

 

Lance

 

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