In October, my teammate and I ran a 5K in Plymouth, MA. It was hot, humid, and the course was hilly. Let's just say conditions were not ideal for a personal record. At the end of the race we were both a bit frustrated with the outcome. We were determined to run one more 5K before the end of the year with hopes of getting better weather, a flatter course, and ideally, with those factors working in our favor, a faster time. So, we went ahead and signed up for a race on a Sunday morning in December not thinking, at the time, about the fact that this would be during the holiday season which typically goes hand in hand with late night festivities. This past Saturday afternoon, my teammate saw my husband and told him that she was likely to bail on our race, which was the following Sunday, because she was so tired and wasn't feeling up for it. I talked to her later that evening and we decided that, despite the fact that we were both low on energy and going out again that night, we would go ahead and run and just treat the race like a regular workout. We decided we would attempt to have fun and try not to worry about the results. When I got home at midnight, I looked to see if she had texted me with a change of heart, which we both said we might do, but there was no message, so we were still on. I picked her up on Sunday morning and though we were both fully committed by now, we were both pretty wiped out and neither of us had high expectations. At the starting line, we smiled, high-fived, laughed a bit and off we went. I'm guessing that something about our approach to this race released some of the pressure that we tend to put on ourselves and set us free to run just for the hell of it. We both finished with faster times than we've had all season, feeling totally elated and stronger than ever. It was truly amazing. Chances of this happening for even one of us that morning were slim to none, but you just never know. It's normal to question whether it's worth doing something when there are so many variables that lead us to believe it might not fall into place that way we want it to. My new philosophy in this case - when in doubt, do.
As a side note to this story, my teammate decided to listen to her iPod during the race, something she doesn't normally do. Afterwords, she mentioned that the music helped her out and that it will likely be something she adds to her routine from now on. She specifically said, "I loved listening to the cheesy, pop songs when I was running because they made me smile and that made me go faster." Amen to that.
Listen to this:
Walking On A Dream - Empire of the Sun
and in honor of Team Bacon:
Ain't Nothing Wrong With That - Robert Randolph & the Family Band