I wanted you to see what real courage is.... It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what. You rarely win, but sometimes you do.
Atticus Finch, To Kill a Mockingbird (Harper Lee)
Why am I afraid of running in circles? On a track, you just go around and around. No trucks to hit me, no tree roots to cripple me, no dogs to bite me.
Fear of failure? Maybe, but I'd like to think my ego isn't so inflated that I believe it matters if I run those 600s in 2:43 or slower.
Speed work seems to be one of the only domains in which the fight or flight choice our brains make in the face of fear can't work. It's both. I fight. I fly. I go fast. For a lap and a half. Then faster. Repeat.
Speed work is also one of the few areas in my life that I feel like I can control fully, strangely enough. It's where I'm Kris who runs, not Kristina who drives a station wagon. On one of the few occasions I did speed work with Nate at the track, I was kind of startled when he called me Kris. But not in a bad way.
It's because that's who I am when I run. And then I had a similar experience yesterday when someone who knows me primarily as a runner had the impulse to call me Kris as well, and that was more than fine with me. My family calls me Kris, too, but they've been doing it longer than my running has been in the picture. There's only one other person who calls me Kris.
Maybe they all knew the runner in me before I did, the one who likes control and power and speed. The one who's hitting the track today a 4 to run in circles, fast.