“Running may seem difficult. But as you train over weeks and months, what seemed like an agonizing task becomes surprisingly easy.” Hal Higdon’s recent tweet rings true enough, but there is always more to the story, right? I realize you may interpret this as me twisting the words of the great Hal, but I don’t mean this in any sort of negative way. Hal has certainly been one of my heroes – and like a coach in some ways – for a long time now.
The cool thing about running is when it does get easy you can always up the ante and go harder, faster, further, and longer – or try to. It can and probably should always be a challenge. That’s what keeps me coming back… And then it ain’t so easy anymore. We constantly strive to improve. We can also take it a step too far and find ourselves right back at the painful start once more. One day it can feel “surprisingly easy” …and the next day you hit a wall you thought you broke through once before. Like, coincidentally, just this week, I start thinking I’ve gained a small but respectable amount of training experience and running skill, but then quickly discovered I took the past week a bit too hard – now my sore and aching legs are pulling me back down to earth, literally. It has been a long time since I’ve had to take more than 1 day off at a time, and this week I’ve taken 2 days off in a row. Nothing specific happened, I didn’t fall down, I didn’t sprain or twist anything; just too much too soon, and my upper legs are screaming at me. So, it’s time to go through some of those agonizing tasks again. My fault and maybe not too smart, but I’m always learning my limits so that I can push past them – sometimes gently, other times not so. Running can always be a challenge and might regularly be difficult for us mere mortals. But, if it were easy, I don’t think I would be so driven to keep coming back. So, another serving of pain, anyone?