Friday, May 4, 2012

You Run, I'll Squat Instead

Brady is one of my online clients and has made the switch from recreational runner, to serious lifter.  He sent me this blog and I think it's worth sharing.

                                                              by Brady McElhaney

Being a distance runner the past couple years, the month of May brings the Indy Mini Marathon. Since it is coming up, I thought some readers might enjoy a situation that occured at my gym several weeks ago. While some friends of mine are still running, the past 6 months I've been working with Steel to get stronger. I've lost my desire to go "pound the pavement."

Receiving my squat workout on Sunday night, I looked at it with some nervousness. "Brady, give me 3x12 with xxx pounds and go home." Ok, boss. We'll give it a shot.

When Monday comes, I'm at the gym early and have 2x12 done before the running group comes in. Admittedly, I'm already spent, when one friend says, "You gonna run the mini or keep sitting around over there by the rack?"  "Todd, you can run it. I made my goals already. You run, I'll squat instead."

So on my way to the rack, the idea of recalling the course from last year with each rep came to me.
Rep 1, mile 1: just getting started off real slow trying to weave through a crowd of 40,000 runners. We go by the Indy Zoo and they have a giraffe or elephant standing by the gate as you run by. This rep is just getting the kinks out. Rep 2 is starting to groove as mile 2 has bands playing music as we go along--blues, rock, acoustic, reggae, anything you want.

Rep 3,4,5 comes real fast as we're nearing the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. I just blew through my best 5k and 10k is coming. Better slow down because the faster you start the more agonizing the finish is. So a couple deep breaths before rep 6 and onto the track we go, some of the fastest cars in history have been on this track. Rep 7 and 8 comes up and my head dropped down a little noticing the grooved pavement for the cars to grip to. As we cross the brickyard and leave the track, I notice this little corner bar has a table with cups and an ice cold pitcher of beer out front. Man, that would be nice. I bet my body would soak up anything for energy now, especially into rep 9/mile 9.

The crowd is thinner now and parting to one side or the other because mile 9 puts you "in the hood." Dodging potholes, running by burned-out cars and the sky isn't looking good either as rep 10/mile 10 is getting slower. The only thing keeping me going is the will to finish what I've started. Everything is hurting, sweaty, sore and the music is gone. Only a couple more to go and the rain comes. Not just a little but a downpour. In a way its relief but it can't last long.

Mile 11 brings out the sun and the heat after a quick downpour. This is awful. Is this ever gonna end? Rep 11 is ugly going up because the bar rolled then stopped a bit lower then I'm used to. "Come on! Stay tight! Almost done!" is the last pep talk I give myself . Rep 12/ mile 12 is insight as I approach slower feeling every body part ache. Depleted won't even describe the feeling.  As I descend to depth, the bounce is gone. Only will power is bringing this back up.

Then end of mile 12 is the White River bridge. Going up it is like climbing Mt. Everest. Just keep pushing through as my eyes are red from the strain going up to standing position. I'm up and rep 12 is done. When mile 13 comes ,every stride feels like baby steps. Thank god for the finish line. Walking up to rack the bar, this indescribable feeling comes. This overwhelming sense of pride and relief. All the hard work, dedication and sacrifice just paid off. As I turn to leave, the same people on the same treadmill are running their lives away. I just waved, smiled and left. Steak and potatoes all day long.

In a person's life there are many accomplishments and the best ones are those personal moments. The ones that you can say that was a defining point in my life. I've just described two of mine in this article. One was the first of two half marathon completions and the second was a squat workout I would have never convinced myself to do. Vince Lombardi said,"You have a body that can endure just about anything. It's the mind you have to convince." And he's right.

All About Being a Lifer

What's a Lifer? Someone who isn't in to something for just a day, a month, a's for life. Whether its training or your family or your doesn't matter. You work at it, you build on it, you see the big picture . You don't miss workouts because it means something to you. You are like a Shakespearean actor- no matter what is going on in your life, you block it out when it's time to train. You walk into the weight room and all else disappears. Worry about it later.