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If You Train It, The Good Will Come: A Treadmill Tale

Something absolutely bonkers happened to me the other day on one of my run days … something crazy that has never happened before: I ran like something fierce.

I’m not talking distance because I’ve run Forrest Gump-like distances in the past. No, I’m talking speed. I ran fast, and I am not a fast runner by any means. I have no idea how it happened. I was grumbling and grouchy the entire morning leading up to the run. I just didn’t want to do it. I had been overworked, overstressed and just wasn’t feeling the idea of running on a hamster wheel. I got on the darn thing anyways, and then it happened.

I was running along, feeling all the crap that had been bugging me throughout the day and I grew angry, which for some reason translated into me wanting to push my body hard to mirror the stress of what I was feeling. It led to me turning up the speed on the treadmill. I went from 6.0 miles per hour … to 6.5 and that wasn’t cutting it so I went up to 7 … 7.5 … 8 and then finally 8.5! I was pumping my arms and sprinting like I had never sprinted before, and it felt damn good! So I kept going and going, and I was sprinting and running the crap right on out of my body. It felt amazing … damn amazing! I remember thinking, “Keep running until you can’t run anymore! Run out everything that’s going wrong until it’s right!” And I did!


I don’t know how long I kept at that speed, but it was a really long time and when I was done I was a sweating ball of peace — and I was grateful. I was grateful that I’ve maintained a level of fitness all these years so that, when needed, I could run like that. I really needed to run like that! Don’t get me wrong, I was still sore as heck the next day, but I had gotten to a point where I could push myself in a way I had never done before.

It was a glorious epiphany that I think shall surprise you: I finally got how fitness can be cathartic. I’d never experienced pushing myself that hard in order to let go of some steam. I worked out those stresses, quite literally. I got off the treadmill and ran into a woman who asked me what the heck I had been doing on that machine. I didn’t feel like sharing my cathartic releases with her, so I said it was an interval training technique (only partially fibbed) and then went to the stretching area to continue my zen.

While the soreness only lasted a day, the knowledge I gathered from that little feat of craziness will last awhile. Sometimes, if you train consistently you can get to a point where you can push your body in ways you never dreamed. If you train it, the magic will/can come.

Can you relate? Ever had a similar experience or cathartic release? ––Tish

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