Last week, the long, slow distance requirement (tens and ones) was 8 kilometres. I really tried, but I could only manage 7.6. My huffing and puffing brought me so close and yet so far.
But I did it this morning.
On the treadmill…8.05 kilometres. Of course, it took me 72 minutes, but I did it without collapsing.
(Thank you, I am currently patting myself on the back.)
Afterward, while I was washing my hair and scraping my calloused feet, I pondered this concept of self-congratulation. I realized that I’m still not very good at it. I grew up with the concept that too many compliments make a person conceited, so they were rarely bestowed.
Not that I’m blaming anyone, but you know how it is.
And so, I’m pretty hard on myself most of the time. I assume a) I should be good at everything; and b) since I’m not, somehow I’ve let the whole world down.
When I was young, I rarely tried new things because I didn’t want to risk not doing something perfectly the first time—to make a mistake in front of people (and possibly look bad or endure laughter) was just too excruciating a thought to entertain.
And even today, I fight the notion that I shouldn’t try to do a 10 kilometre run because I couldn’t possibly keep up with the young’uns.
Ah, the ugly spectre of perfectionism. I thought I had exorcised her many years ago, but I recognize her rotten stink. In honor of Hallowe’en, perhaps I should drive a stake through her heart:
“Yes, thank you! Thank you so much! Yes, I realize running 8k is a great step forward for my physical health and not everyone tries it! It’s so kind of you to say so. Yes, I’m quite proud of myself.”
This week’s requirement: since the long run has already been completed, one 3 kilometre run, one 4 kilometre run, and four-400 metre hills.
Oh dear. The hills.