My brain tried to make it miserable.
It thought about the early hour. About the darkness. About the uncertainty of how to dress for the early, dark September run.
It thought about the soreness in my shoulders from last night's return to the weight room and strength training.
It thought about how this body had not run in over a week -- since surviving the final 13.1 miles of the half Ironman.
My brain really wanted to dread the cadence checks and the easy pace of the 30 minute run.
Funny thing, though.
My body wasn't listening.
A few minutes into the run, my friend Sue asked, "Do your legs want to go?"
Oddly enough, my answer was yes.
My legs wanted to go.
They felt a bit neglected over the last week. With much surprise to my brain, my legs felt fresh. Hitting my basic cadence checks was rather easy. And while yes, my shoulders were a bit sore from strength training overall, that 30 minute run felt .... good.
My brain gave up trying to fight it.
Because for all the thoughts and dread and worry it tried to give me, nothing really took. Not one of those negative thoughts felt real.
What did feel real was the opportunity to run again. A basic run. Nothing fancy. Nothing crazy. Just a moderate heart rate zone and attention to form, specifically a high cadence and good arm movement.
And when the 30 minutes passed, everything felt good. My body. My soul. Even my brain decided that it was a good run.
These next few weeks are about structured off-season activity which means scheduled training, but lighter in intensity when it comes to biking and running and with an emphasis on drills, form and strength training.
Before my runs this week, I'm supposed to practice my arm form in the mirror.
The basics of arm form correction are demonstrated in the following YouTube video.
And as unusual as it sounds, the drill-like practice is something I enjoy. Repetition is supposed to be boring -- and after a week of arm pumping in the mirror I'm sure it will get old fast. But it's the key to correcting form, perfecting technique and getting better at little things. There's something comforting in that -- in working on small things and polishing the pieces.
These are the things which will make me stronger. Which will make me believe I'm faster, regardless of what the clock or standings say.
These are the things that make all those negatives concocted by my brain meaningless to my body and soul.
--- Amy Moritz
Follow Journey to the Finish line on Twitter at www.twitter.com.amymoritz