As a track and field runner of four years, I’ve ended up running various workouts that work on speed, strength, or technique, depending on what my coach feels we need to build on or balance out. Some days are more difficult than others–challenging me not only physically but also mentally because I really have to push myself to my body’s limits in order to reach the end of practice.
Although my coach has done this particular workout in previous years, this was the first year I was introduced to it. The Jedi Run. The first time I heard “The Jedi Run”, it didn’t too sound horrible. I knew I had to expect something difficult, considering we had to balance out our “easy” days with the “hard” days. But I mean, the name Jedi makes it sound like all fun and games and sounds way better than hearing my coach say 6 200’s or 4 400’s.
Trust me when I say this was specifically my nightmare of workouts.
To finally let you in on the secret of WHAT The Jedi Run is, it’s essentially a 400, one lap around the track. But the trick is to trick yourself. While my coach stands at the 300 mark, your goal is to run a 300 all-out and hit a time that satisfies what you should be hitting. If you hit the mark, you have to finish the 400 with an “angel” (someone pushing you from behind, gently!) to help you finish all-out. If you don’t, you drop out at the 300 and, well, that’s bad.
The Jedi Run is definitely a mental workout. After running a full-out 300 sprint, it’s near-impossible not to feel like you just want to give up right on the spot. It really takes it out of you. But you have to finish if you get the dreaded ‘go ahead’ from the coach. The first time I ever did it, I had to drop out because I hit the mark too slow, because I had watched the first girls suffer through the first rounds and I was so scared, I subconsciously slowed myself down so I wouldn’t have to finish. The second time, however, I hit the mark (but not without having a near panic attack before starting… And that was ugly).
Since then, I’ve done two more Jedi Runs, making it a total of four. Today, my fourth one, I was able to push myself, break down my mental walls, and make a PR (personal record) or the year. And it felt great. I felt strong, and much better than I had felt after the previous runs.
From The Jedi Runs, I’ve learned that it’s important to persevere. I find myself relating these unsettling, mind-challenging runs to this month of emotional college letters because I have to remember to just keep pushing through. Even though I’m not getting the results I want now, I can’t give up on myself and let my head get to me and keep me from reaching future achievements. It ties back into what I’ve always been taught: hard work will pay off, even if I don’t see the results immediately. And let me tell you, success feels great.