I have a competitive nature, so even when I don’t have a race in mind, I still have a goal mind. Sometimes my goal is simple, like run one super fast mile today, and sometimes, my goals are a little bit more complicated.

Still a bit annoyed about my performance last week at the Mini 10k, I had no issue throwing myself wholeheartedly into my workouts this week. If anything, it motivated me to push myself harder than I originally planned.

I had a professional conference to attend this weekend that started with meetings as early as 7:30! Since I was not one known for even walking into work before 8:30 and 9am on most days, the early morning seems quite foreign to me.

Nevertheless, there I was, watching the sun rise while I got to work. Bench jumps, negative push ups, jackknives, you name it. This week was all about facing my challenges and completing exercises that I hate.

So when I scraped my arm with a resistance band and felt soreness in my pecs from the push ups, I kept going.

After a few weeks of recovering from Brooklyn, I was ready to start up the sprint workouts again. I like to believe that I work myself pretty hard, but I rarely ever hit the point of all out exhaustion. I guess that’s the gift and the curse of the treadmill; you are the master of your own fatigue.

That changed today when I approached the treadmill with all intentions to dominate. I decided not to follow a preselected sprint workout and instead make up my own intervals. I started off with a mile warm up and then ran a few 400m hills. After a few moments of recovery, I decided to take on some sprints. At mile pace. During my first sprint, the fatigue hit me so fast. I didn’t think that I would make it even a minute, never mind the 2.5 minutes I was planning to run for. My whole being felt uncomfortable. I tried to tell myself that it was only 2.5 minutes, but I could literally feel my insides coming out. I thought I was going to vomit. My body was entering a state of revolution. Yet, I made it.

I planned to jog between intervals, but I just had to walk. I couldn’t take another running step without landing face first on the treadmill, which is actually pretty painful (and sadly, I know this from experience).

When my recovery time was up, it was time for another 2.5 minute interval at mile pace. And when I say I tried, I really tried. I ran at mile pace for 30 seconds and I had to stop. I could feel myself slowing down and tapping out. I slowed my speed slightly for the next 90 seconds before giving my all in the last 30 seconds at mile pace. It felt even more challenging that before. Finally, I took another walking break and finished up my workout with some tabata sprints.

When I hopped off the treadmill, I was dripping in sweat. Not in a “I’m sweating because it’s hot outside kind of way” but because I had moved at paces no one should be moving at prior to 6am-or even later for that matter!

While I would certainly not advise going your own way in terms of workouts if you’re like me with no exercise science background, sometimes it’s good to push yourself. How do you know how far you can go if you’ve never tried?

I don’t know if I’ll be repeating this exact workout anytime soon. But I will definitely be using elements of it to frame my future workouts now that I have identified where my weaknesses (opportunities) lie.

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