Make Running a Launching Pad for Your DayIs it just me or does my alarm ringtone sound especially irritating at 4:15am? I roll off the bed, land on my sore feet, and check the weather on my phone. 2°C and there's frost on the grass. This early in the year?! Today is speed day. Four by 800m, 30 seconds faster than our 5k pace, with 2-minute recoveries…all inside a freezer. Why am I even doing this?
Because as difficult as it is to get out of bed in the middle of the night and as challenging as it is to run hard in extreme weather, the whole experience will etch itself on my soul and my soles. When I spend the first hour of my day doing really intense speed work or hill work, I know that day is going to be different. It will be better. A few concentrated moments of mental and physical exercise as I watch a beautiful sunrise will supercharge my confidence and determination throughout the coming day.
While I run past the homes that line my usual 400-meter straightaway, I think about their inhabitants who are lying in bed, fast asleep, waiting for their automatic coffee makers to beep. This image doesn’t make me feel envious, it makes me feel powerful. This sport is about taking steps, one after the other, around a track, along a trail, down the middle of a dark street, until I’ve met my goal. I string together each small goal until I reach a big one…an impossible one.
"While I run past the homes that line my usual 400-meter straightaway, I think about their inhabitants who are lying in bed, fast asleep... it makes me feel powerful."
My heart pounds in my chest and the fall of my foot grows slightly heavier with each running interval. Each recovery period feels a little less effective as I walk through cold, icey air. I sweat profusely and it just collects on every surface, threatening to freeze. Before beginning the fourth interval, I entertain the thought that I might just skip this last one.
Why am I even doing this? I’m just a work-at-home-mom. Running is not my vocation.
Then I hear it in my mind…the sound that my marathon and half-marathon medals make as I slide my hand across the medal hanger in my room. They are the proof that I can make the impossible possible. They are the outward sign of my inward warrior. Running warriors never skip the last speed interval.
They use it as a launching pad to begin their day.
By Elise McKinnon, a Mother of two children, with 12 half-marathons and a full marathon under her belt.