STEPPING STONES.

I’ve been in PowerSheets mode lately, and I love how Laura Casey says, “It’s ok to grow slow.” Today I am learning the struggle of “It’s ok to GO slow.”

Since I knew we’d be traveling today, I went all in yesterday with an intense workout of cardio stacked with tabata weight training and planned for today to be a rest day. But when there was a change in our schedule and I was sitting in my parents’ house listening to my girls argue nonstop, I could feel the frustration rising. I decided to take advantage of the fact that my mom was there with the girls. I checked the weather and realized I would burn up in the workout pants I’d packed, so I dug through my Dad’s dresser in search of running shorts. I finally found a pair (thankfully drawstring), rolled them up walked out the door.

I didn’t feel like running. I was tired and sluggish and I knew if I ran it would be miserable and I’d feel uncomfortable.

“I can just walk,” I thought to myself. “But what if someone sees me???”

Being back home in my parents’ neighborhood, there are often familiar faces that pass by when I’m out for a run. But if someone I knew saw me walking??? They would think something was wrong with me.

“I’ll just run little bit,” I thought. But I knew in my head a little would turn into a lot and it would defeat the purpose of lacing up my shoes in the first place. So being the competitive person I am, I decided to make this a challenge.

I challenged myself to walk the ENTIRE time. To not run a single step.

I don’t think people realize how difficult it is for a runner to actually walk. Running is just as much a mental sport as it is a physical one. We train our minds to push through the pain in pursuit of the prize—whether it is conquering a difficult workout or setting a new PR. Because of this mentality and my tendency to be stubborn, I have a really hard time slowing down and listening to my body. I am a competitive person, which is great on race day, but can be a struggle in training.

It took a lot of willpower to walk instead of run. And even more to acknowledge that walking as a runner is not a sign of weakness.

As I hopped across the stepping stones of the spillway (yet another path caused by heavy rain), I realized an empowering walk made me stronger than a weak miserable run. With each stone I crossed, I watched as the water left over from last week’s storm rushed under my feet and in between the spillway stones in an effort to allow the lake to return to its calm peaceful state.

Rather than focusing on my pace as I powered through the hills, I was able to gain the mental clarity I desperately needed for 3.16 miles.

I guess walking that far without a single running step could count as a new PR, right?

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