Suck It Up, Baby

I'm looking for these shoulders again!
I’m looking for these shoulders again!

My favorite quick fix meal is a veggie omelet. I usually like some toast and jam, too, but I had that for a snack before my run. I’ll probably have some Greek yogurt with agave nectar for dessert for my carbohydrate fix. I’m on my new program from the B*tch. For the summer, we’re focusing on getting me swimsuit ready (as ready as a 52 year old can get), speed training for a 10K in early fall and having fun. I trained hard for a couple of summers when I was doing full marathons, and I’ll never do that again. For one thing, it’s too hot in Memphis to be doing runs longer than 2 hours on a regular basis in July and August. The bigger thing for me is I want to enjoy my summer. I want to go to the mountains if I want, and, if I have a 15 miler to run that just screws up the weekend. So, now I take summers off from intense training.

For the next 4 weeks, we are focused on lifting heavy weights for 6-8 reps to build muscle. I just can’t wait to see my shoulders cut again. Last year, that TRX class had my shoulders looking better than I can ever remember. I’m doing strength-training 3 times a week and running 3-4 times a week with a focus on speed. Tonight, I ran a timed 10K. I decided to drive downtown and do my tourist route. It looked like it was going to rain, but I don’t mind rain so much when it’s warm out. I forgot that the Memphis in May festival was going on, so my regular route through Tom Lee Park was diverted due to massive desconstruction of the Beale Street Mud Music Festival site. I parked down at the Visitor’s Center and started my trek along the river. The river is up – way up. I ran along the river, up on the bluff, down Main Street, past Beale, down Union to Sun Studio and back to the river.

I could tell pretty soon that I wouldn’t have an easy run. At 2 miles, I was already looking at my distance and moaning about how far I had to go. By four miles, I was really mentally done. I remembered that I was wearing a headband with Suck it Up boldly emblazoned in hot pink. Suck it up, I told myself. You need to do this. It’s time to get back on track. I hate running when I’m not into it. Every step hurts, and my mind keeps trying to tell me that it doesn’t matter if I quit. “Who is going to care?” Suck it up, I answer back. I ran past the Redbirds stadium where the ballgame was just staring. “Now, that looks like a lot more fun,” my brain said. Suck it up.

My dog went with me as usual. She wasn’t having a great time either. It’s probably the hottest run we’ve had so far this year, although it’s nothing like it will be in a month or so. Neither one of us are adapted to the heat yet. There were lots of puddles for her to drink from, and, honestly, there was one where I was tempted to bend down and lap some up. I didn’t bring water because she chewed up my good water bottle, and I’m too cheap to go buy another one. I’m going to have to, though. Tonight, hydration was an issue. “If you are thirsty, it’s probably not a good idea to keep running. Maybe you should walk,” my brain begged. Suck it up. I got back down to the river just after 5 miles, so I had to add a little distance to make it to the 6.2. I backtracked on the river walk, and was struck breathless by the river at dusk with the lights of the city and the bridge glittering like stars. It was just beautiful, and I thought about how lucky I was to be out at this time and seeing this. There were very few people down there. Most of them were partying on Beale or at the Red Birds game. “What’s it really going to matter if you don’t do the last half mile?” my brain tempted me. Suck it up, baby.

I finished in 1:18:26. It wasn’t bad for feeling as bad as I did for as long as I did. But, I feel great now. That’s the thing that really keeps me going. It may hurt for 1:18:26, but I feel great for another 24 hours. When I told the B*tch that I wanted to work on getting cut and sexy for the summer, she replied with a question. “How disciplined can you be?” These are the moments when she earns her name. I considered it. Realistically, how disciplined can I be? I told her that I thought I could be pretty disciplined given the fact that I’ve found an eating plan that works, and we’re cutting my workouts back to 4 nights a week. That being said, I added, I won’t do it perfectly. Suck it up, baby. You reap what you sow. One run at a time. One breath at a time. Suck it up.

My Hero, Jessica “B*tch Sprenkel


4 Comments on “Suck It Up, Baby

  1. That is a great 10k for the heat today and our old friend humidity is back in town too! Keep up the awesome work!

  2. In the past, I would run, walk or bike everyday, sure do miss it. Guess it time to suck it up. Nice shoulders by the way.

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