My trusty new kicks. May they make me fly like the mythical shoes of Hermes.
As I’ve written about before, I made the totally awesome (or epically stupid) decision to do a Tough Mudder in Vermont in May. Now, in preparing for that little life adventure, there was one thing I assiduously avoided as much as humanly possible… long distance running. “Dearest Kevin… why pray tell would you avoid running when preparing for a race that involves around 10 miles worth of that very activity???”
Because… I haaaaaate it. Good Lord, do I hate me some running. Not sprinting or flying around on a soccer field or a basketball court. That’s all good. Oh no, I’m talking about just running over long distances and nothing else. Where each landing footfall causes me to wonder why on Earth I am putting myself through such drudgery.
Ya feel me, dawg?
But my competitive nature won’t quite allow me to just blow this off completely. I signed up for this race and damn it, I am gonna punch that thing in its smug face… umm… you know, if an obstacle course can have a face upon which to even have a look.
So the beauties you see above represent a new step for me – my newest weapons in the battle for running dominance. Before you assume “running dominance” is an utterly insane assertion on my part to go from running-hater to super-elite-marathoner… rest assured, it is not. Rather, I am running to dominate myself a bit and break through the mental barrier I have to it.
That began today with 2 mile of running during lunch. Like many things in life, there were positives and negatives. The positive? My endurance was actually pretty good. The negative? The muscles in the bottom of my feet and lower legs felt like they were hit with napalm. The BURN! My God… the BURN! I chalk this up to having done sprints a day or two ago in my minimalist shoes. I think, absent that, I would have done a lot better today. Also on the positive side of the ledger was that the shoes were actually very comfortable (napalm burning aside).
And the true positive of it at all? Today was a fair number of steps (both physical and mental) towards getting better at something that has always challenged me. Each step, no matter how painful, was a necessary piece towards preparing for my May race… and also part of my own process to fight through a difficulty I would rather avoid all together.
It sounds horribly clichéd, but this is where character is built. If I’m not ready to push myself through 2 miles now, how will I ever be ready to do it for 10 with slopes, obstacles, water, mud and freaking electrical wires? Each step builds on the one just before it and the best path is just to put your head down, don’t think about each time your foot strikes the ground and before long… progress… and not long after that… the finish.
But no finish for me just yet. 68 days and 12 hours to go… and many, many steps.