Tag Archives: challenge

No Pain, Let’s Gain

I can successfully add another pain- free run into my workout log this week. I ran 20 minutes of intervals alternating 1 minute hard with 1 minute easy. Tomorrow is leg day so I don’t plan to run again until Sunday, which will give my hips and knees two days to migrate back to their anatomical homes. My workouts include more time on my rehab exercises than anything else which ironically seems to invite insults about me “slowing down”. This is actually a scientifically proven way to help me run faster, but that’s cool too.

My next planned/ anticipated/ oh-my-gosh-please-don’t-get-hurt race is one month away. Yesterday I was telling myself not to stress because if I’m not ready or if any (enter assorted body parts here) aren’t up to it then there is no pressure to race and I will continue to build to the next goal. Right on cue, I wake up to a message from a friend that I used to race against saying, “Did my first 5k in while – 30:32, will see if I can bring my time down to run with you”.

Rather than start a discussion about her previous insult to my 25:44 time, I welcomed her friendly competition and encouraged our old running rivalry back to the roads.

It didn’t take long for another old friend and fellow runner from my cross country days to chime in and say she could run it in just over 25 minutes. It is starting to look like we might have a little race here. Nothing more motivating than risking your title of being “the fastest”; a title which has been untouched for a decade until I asked people to challenge it.

Time to channel my inner child and run like I’ll get my name on the announcements tomorrow.

 

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The Pace to Race

Last Sunday was race day.

It was not as fast or as glorious as I had hoped it to be, but I finished the race vertical and left inspired to work harder and come back faster. So I think I can check that off as a success in one way or another.

As much as I would love to list my excuses for not hitting my goal time in an attempt to justify that it was the Universe’s fault, I was happy with how I ran four of the five kilometers. The first kilometer did me in but it was a learning experience. Or a reminder, anyways.

I could list all of the training runs I did in faster times, all the intervals I ran, and tell you about the days I didn’t feel like running but did it anyways. It doesn’t matter how good the workouts are if they don’t build on each other and if they don’t come together. In this case, neither of those may be the issue but my body just couldn’t do it.

And that’s okay.

The bar is set at 25:44.

And now I’m going to smash it.

I have three more races planned this year, because if I don’t keep challenging myself then how will I know what I can do. I am not running how I want to, but I know where I want to get to. My goal is to stay injury- free to race June, August, and October and improve on my time each run.

Just keep trotting.

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I Am a Quitter

Sometimes we hang on for too long. Whether it is dedication, laziness, stupidity, or otherwise, very few of us live always looking to jump into something new. We like where the couch has a worn-in groove for us, we like familiar faces around us, and we like the security that monotony can offer.

There is comfort to be found in discomfort. Only the weak quit, right?

That uneasy unknowing of what may come is overwhelming if we consider a deviation from our routines.  Anyone can tell you the downsides to their situation, but then how many can give you their steps to resolution. Collectively, why do we agonize about things that we keep in our lives? Why are we so eager to tell others about our complaints, but not how we are going to improve?

Life gets hard but how did we get convinced that this needs constant promotion?

So when is throwing in the towel appropriate? When can we release our grip on what we know best and open our palm to whatever the world may hand us? Just because we know something best does not mean it is best for us. Events, people, and tribulations, all come into our lives for a reason and although we cannot control their entry, we absolutely determine their cause.

Having only two hands means we need to let some things go to hold on to what is most important. This is not a ball pit and everything is not equal. Not knowing what you want doesn’t mean you hold on to as much as possible, it is a process. It is moving and pursuing despite requiring a backslide or two. Thankfully, momentum works in mysterious ways.

For a generation of people who tend to search out the new rather than repair the old, I know many who are just hanging on. We still exist- the hard workers who were raised with fresh air and vegetables. Brought up by parents who asked questions to which they knew the answers, so that we would have to think for ourselves.

So as much as quitting is not something I find pride in, I am going to have to take it up. I have been doing the same things for too long and I do not want to settle.

Like I said before, I expect big things from myself this year. To make that happen, I need to release my hold on old practises so my hands are free to keep reaching.

wholeheartedly

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Gold and Goal

To celebrate my achievement of beating my goal time (by 28 seconds!) and my time from last weekend (by 51 seconds!) I decided to reward myself. So I tried.
Monday was supposed to be a day off from exercise and a guilt- free day to eat anything. One muffin later, my stomach told me to pick something else.
After I was done training for the day, D and K were starting their workouts. Like the good friends they are, they made sure to give me a really hard time about taking the day off. Other tips included “don’t eat cookies!” and “why are you going to bed so early!” which made it feel less like a day celebrating my victory. These guys come in handy when I feel lazy though, so I won’t complain.

So now I am looking ahead at what is next to come. It is too bad that I’m just getting started as racing season is wrapping up but I still have options. I can keep racing through the winter since apparently Mother Nature isn’t totally against me, or I can focus my efforts elsewhere. I have a lot of friends who train and compete in figure competitions so that has crossed my mind but my body is still working on basic level functioning. That would be like trying to take the whole flight of stairs at once.

The best part of making a comeback is passing the benchmark that you had set before.

I still remember my last workout before the car accident. It was the day before and I was feeling great. An easy run to the park, 100 lunges, 10 hill sprints, then I ran home at a 3:51/km pace. I will have to use that as a baseline to see just when I surpass my (old) self. But not yet. Anyways, I am thinking even further ahead than that.

Swimming in a race in a lake terrifies me; the thought of getting back on a bike makes me nervous; but I can absolutely run. So, next summer I will do my first triathlon.

With two attempts, I have achieved my first goal and now it is on to the next one! It is big, and it is challenging, and I am looking forward to every scary step of the way!

Cue the motivation saying!!!

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