Monday morning was steamy and dark and I was tired, despite Sunday having been my "rest day". And not very excited by the prospect of six miles before breakfast. So I did what I do when I just have to get through some miles and it's a distance I can manage - I play. With speedwork. I figured it would make the time go faster along with the miles, and it would make me feel more confident about the start of proper speedwork next week. So I did five quarter-mile repeats, not trying for a certain pace but just to pick the things up a bit - get my legs and head used to the idea of working that way again (it's been about a month now since I did any).
It felt good - and it was fun - so much so that I decided to make my Thursday run a tempo run. Maintain marathon pace for 3 miles in the middle of a longer run into work. Not a lot compared to what I've done in the past or even what I'll have to do next week - but something to get myself used again to doing these more intense workouts. And again, it felt good, stretching and challenging myself and taking away some of the fear of what will come next. Because, you know, I start every speed or tempo run not knowing if I can do it, afraid that I can't.
I train to push my mind and my heart - my guts - as much as my body.
I've done a lot of comfortable running this past month - pushing myself with changes to my schedule and with increases in my total weekly mileage - but each of the individual runs have been easy. At a comfortable pace and with no real doubt that I would be able to do it, even if I was tired or if things got harder by the end. I am stubborn and determined and it's been a long time since I didn't finish a run. So just putting in miles doesn't scare me.
I am ready to be scared.
Bring it on.