Comfort Zone

It all began at 3:50am when I was jolted awake by a most annoying buzzing sound. As my left arm reached over to smack the snooze button, I felt alright. A bit startled and bleary-eyed of course, but otherwise, fairly content with the fact that I had to get dressed and head out the door for my track run. I did all the usual morning things and was soon on my way.

Once I got to the track, I walked a couple of laps with one of my friends. I was feeling stiff by this point, especially in my back. Part of me wondered why I was going to attempt to run at all feeling the way that I was feeling. I mean, wouldn’t it be easier to have stayed in bed and continued to sleep? Well, yes, it would have been easier, but easy doesn’t get you trained for a marathon or keep you fit.

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By 5am, the rest of my group had arrived. The agenda for today’s speed workout? Mile or half mile repeats. Honestly, I did very little speed work last season, so I was a bit unsure about this idea. It just didn’t sound like fun. Sort of like hills, those aren’t fun either. Sure, I do them, but fun they are definitely not.

The plan was to run for 30 seconds, then walk for 15 seconds with some breaks in between the miles. Okay, I can do this I told myself. No problem, run for 30 seconds that’s nothing. All I had to do was speed things up. The beeping sound of the Gymboss went off and we started to run. Thirty seconds later, beep beep! Slowing down to walk, I felt good. The sound of the Gymboss interrupted my thoughts. Time to run again. It didn’t take long for me to come to the conclusion that 15 seconds of walking was not enough. It was going by far too fast. Who likes this kind of interval, I wondered to myself as I gasped for air.

Of course, I was being dramatic. It wasn’t THAT bad, I just didn’t want to run it. I think we get so comfortable with whatever pace or interval(s) we use most often that anything outside of that comfort zone bothers us. It makes us want to go back to what we’re used to. The problem with that however is, without doing the things that make us uncomfortable, we can never change or improve ourselves. Sure, I disliked doing those mile repeats this morning and was more than glad that they were over, but in the end, I was happy that I did them. I pushed myself into a place that I wanted to escape and got through it. Those are the experiences that make us better. Staying in the comfort zone keeps us from getting to the good stuff.

Have you had a recent experience with leaving your comfort zone?


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