Today’s workout was incredibly daunting, before it was even done.   My mind was so full of doubt as I set out in the darkness at 4:15 am, feeling so desperately out of my depth and tempted to believe that my coach had not taken my age into consideration with this one, but I slogged on through the first mile warm up, and then the next and the next.

‘Trust the plan’ some part of my mind whispered.

After that first mile, I did begin to feel a little looser and a little better but I was still scared to death of what was coming.   ‘It didn’t matter’ I told myself, ‘whether I felt I could or felt I could not, I was going to throw myself into it when the time came.’

Another mile beeped on my Garmin Forerunner 25.

Without any light, it was going to be a challenge to see what my pace was on-demand.  I would have to hit the light each time which, though annoying, wasn’t completely impossible.   The streets were quiet and, for the most part, empty, as well – a cool breeze met me and though I was starting to really sweat, my shirt stuck to and hugged my body; this is a good thing when you’re prone to chafing – it means that your shirt won’t be moving against your skin and you won’t get your nipples grated like cheese.  There’s a positive thought.

By mile three, I was well and truly warmed up.  It was go time and go I did.  My legs stretched out and I ran fast, by my own estimation, into the dark path connecting Mountain Avenue to the Rillito River path.   I sped along heading west on the north side of the Rillito, running too fast but with determination and commitment.   There were five miles between me and my cooldown phase, and each of those five miles was supposed to be faster than the last – I was going to have to lean into it and my body was complaining loudly already that I was maxing out, going too fast and leaving nothing in the tank for later.

I leaned in even more and looked at my pace – 7:55!  Damn!  Too fast.. that’s my finishing pace and I’m only in my first mile.  I slowed down.

Each mile chirped away and I kept pushing.  By mile four of the five-mile progression and mile seven over-all, I was overwhelmed by the negatives and dropped my pace.   Still, I was proud that I had pushed myself and gone as far as I did at a pace that I didn’t think was even possible.

I knew all along that I would push myself, no matter the odds and if I failed, I would fail daring greatly.

But what is failure, if you learn from it and come back another day to succeed?

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