Thoughts on Running: ‘Can’ and ‘Can Endure’

My Sunday started off wrong. Mind you, I had to work most of the night staying awake with two pots of tea and went to bed around 4:30 am. I still hoped I would get up at around 9am, and get my long run in not to break the streak of my ‘one half marathon each weekend’. (Also I need the weekly miles to be able to run the La Jolla Half marathon in two weeks). My alarm went off when it should have, however, I slept past the alarm, so literally woke up to my dog hovering over my face wondering whatever happened to me. Strike one. I took him out to walk came back, and attended to few emails and questions from work for the work we just did the previous night. It was about 10:30 am. I knew the afternoon was on the horizon, so is the ‘socal spring summer which could range from 70 degrees that feels like 50s at times and 120s at other times’ that would come unannounced in the middle of a nice breezy spring day! I spent another hour or so on the couch pondering if I should do 13.1 or just do 8 miles. The time I spent pondering on these ideas, would have been the time it would have taken to really do the run! As the time passed me by, I told myself I would go downstairs, and put on my running shoes and head out and let the day take me however many miles. So I head out, and step one, step two, step three – and there it was – the run I could. I checked my watch and I was running about 8:40 min or about 9:00 min pace. Not a bad pace for a training run. I decided to skip the great park sports park loop which I usually run (its a loop inside the sports park which gets me about 3 miles but its kind of boring). Mile 2, mile 3, and I felt good. Mile 4 and 5 still great in spite of the hills. I go up to this little hill by Portola Parkway towards east end where they have that over bridge which I call ‘top of the world’. I like that spot, as you could see the entire south and north orange county from a single spot. Irvine spectrum, Newport, Tustin hangar, South Coast Plaza, and rest of the valley! I want to come back to this spot for 4th of July fireworks view! I am sure its beautiful to be able to see all the different fireworks through out the county! I head down back towards my neighborhood, mile 6 and 7! On the way I stop to get water at this new builder office where my friend works. By the time I hit the parasol park where I started my run, it was about mile 8. I was proud of the day and the run.

And then came the athlete in me. I ran 8 miles, but I wasn’t tired, because the 8 miles were what I ‘ can’ and I ‘could’ any given day. In my heart I thought I have another 5 miles that I ‘could endure’. I knew the next 5 miles wont be walk on the beach, but it will be gruesome. The sun was already grilling everything, and I been out for more than an hour, and I almost went from my brown mocha skin to a charcoal black as my friend commented a bit earlier. Another 5 mile would test me, but I kind of figured I had it in me to ‘endure’. So I headed back on my next 5 mile run, in my head sorting out how I would do 5 miles so I don’t have to run the same route I just did. As I ran and collected miles one at a time, It gotten harder and harder. I didn’t eat or prepare like I would for races earlier in the day, so the cramps and thirst was playing their part in making the run seem more miserable than it was! But the voice inside me kept telling me I could endure. Mile 4, I run past my house, and decided to take my dog Patrick along for the last mile. So I went inside my house, got him, and we both headed out, me on mile 13 run at this point and his mile 1! Have you seen a dog run its first mile. boy oh boy – they start off like Meb at Boston. We ran up the street and back and finished our run! By now I was tired and done!

We all have it in us, whether we know it or not, admit to it or not, what ‘we can’ and what ‘we can endure’. IF you listen to that voice inside you, you know that. The goal is to run what you can , and endure what you could! and train with both in mind to push your ‘what you can’ pace farther and faster over time. I ran a 6:56 min pace last weekend at Carlsbad 5000, but that is not what ‘I can’, that is what ‘I can endure’, and what ‘I can endure’ can only last so long. That is why our 5k race pace is not the same for a half marathon race pace! What we can endure can only last so long. Once you figure it out, you know what and how to train! what you ‘can’ changes
over time as you train , and you ‘endure’ more. As time goes by with consistent mindful training, what you can endure becomes what you just could all the time.

My Sunday ended up so much better after that 13.1 mile run! Every run teaches me something. Sometime new, sometime things I already know to be true! Happy Running and remember to run with what you can, and race with what you can endure and figure your training plan with both in mind and keep pushing your boundaries!

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