Tag Archives: process

Check.

Run a smart race: debatable, but overall successful.
Don’t get hurt: assuming no new injuries counts as successful.
Get a sub 25 minute 5km: check.

This past Saturday was another planned 5km race on a fairly flat, paved route through Sunnybrook Park. The weather was ideal, my knees were feeling good, and I was rolling into the park on a good night’s sleep. It was a perfect storm of racing conditions by my standards. My friend S and I only had to hit the porta potties about 6 times before we could consider ourselves officially ready to go. I just don’t know where women find the time to squeeze in a pre-race warm- up.

My chase pack was down to one, but in a race of over 400 people, it is hard to feel like you only have one person to stay ahead of. Our missing friend (who joined us in an earlier race) opted out after a crazy work schedule and a lack of training convinced her that she shouldn’t spend the money to run a subpar performance. I know how that goes, and up until this current streak I am on, getting to the starting line was a huge challenge in itself.

I had some tightness in my left calf and as of today it is shooting down my heel, and it feels like the rumblings of a little plantar fasciitis. I’m really looking forward to taking on this extra challenge…

Either way, I’m still the reigning leader of the pack.

A race really breaks up a training program and helps re-frame your perspective and gives you a fresh start without ever having to break. I’m excited to get back to work and improve on my time again. I would love to take another 13 seconds off my time but three weeks isn’t really that long. And 13 seconds is pretty long.

I actually only have two weeks to train because the week prior to racing isn’t meant to be much more than rest and maintenance. It is a week meant for staying safe and avoiding people who may push shopping carts into you or may wander into your path without warning and force you to dive around them on sidewalks. The week before is for wearing a crossing guard vest and screaming when people come too close to your bubble. … Oh, that’s just me?

It has been a long time coming to get me to where I am now. It was a year and a half off running followed by a triumphant return to running which was quickly dismissed by a dislocated kneecap and accompanying torn ligament. That was eventually followed by a painfully gradual and much less triumphant return to running (again) which turned into this streak I’m on now.

Just because the process isn’t glamorous, doesn’t mean the result can’t be glorious.

Strategize for next race: check.
Celebrate the little victories: check.
Appreciate every step: check.

TOWR

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Stormin Norman

22 days until the first race of the three left for me this season.

This is approaching the time when my body starts red lining, kneecaps start dislocating, and tendons start popping. Historically speaking.

My chase pack has somewhat decided to keep coming along for the journey and I have one enlisted in at least the upcoming August race. They must know my training is going well, so I don’t blame them…

For once, I actually feel quite prepared and I’m three weeks out. I only have to take 3 seconds off my last race time to get sub 25, and I am absolutely 3 seconds stronger than I was in June. Three times less stressed, and with three times more free time. Still warped, and still asymmetrical, but maybe I’m finally making it work for me.

And now I have a secret weapon.

One of my super generous friends gave me a steep discount on a GPS watch and I am now the proud running partner of a TomTom. In the setup process, the first step is to name the watch, which I assume is to write “My name‘s Watch” so you can claim some sort of ownership or some return to sender information. Or to rush through to the fun part where you actually get to use it.

In line with none of those strategies, I named my watch Norman because that was my stereotyped name of someone who is as excellent a mathematician as this little guy.

Running with instant feedback is such a luxury, like having a coach that will tell you how you’re doing but only if you care to know. So you can verify when you actually are running as slow as you feel, or you can confirm when you are going at a pace that you really can’t maintain.

Onward and upward, overthinking it the whole way!

Me and Stormin’ Norman are on it.

Run

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Process and Progress

I am trying to upgrade my workout log from my current system; millions of loose pieces of paper scrawled with increasingly tired handwriting as the list goes on. As much as this is wasteful and inefficient, I am too OCD to make a book of partially illegible workouts. I need to come home and print them out neatly. The handwriting is definitely a good measure of how hard the workout was, though. On days when I need to really kick my butt I could look for the page where the words turn to shaky lines and there are traces of tear drops. No matter how authentic the chicken scratch on paper shreds, my personality requires tidy writing. Must be my only quirk.

Next in importance after tidy printing, I have felt the thrill of almost smashing my face in.

I am (carefully) checking off my to- do list, which not so coincidentally is identical to my “you won’t do these again” list as per my surgeon. It is with great proudness I can say I conquered a dumbbell bench press. Started with 20 pounds in each hand, and found it shockingly easy, in a relative sort of way. My spotter encouraged me to keep pounding out reps until my right arm decided it had enough and it careened its’ dumbbell towards my face.

In danger, I close my eyes and brace myself apparently. Awesome life skills. Use a spotter with quick reflexes, friends!

The only thing that remains in that no fly zone is contact sports. I won’t lie, it probably will never be crossed off that list and I’m okay with that. Contact sports will be the one time I will use my shoulder injury as an out. As much as I love thinking I have super strength, my body was not built for combat.

My swimming career is in the making now; I have been in touch with someone who will help me regain (or learn) my strokes and then I’m sure this challenge will feel much more real. Triathlon also comes with the added challenge of finding a flattering one piece bathing suit.

Just kidding.

That doesn’t exist.

swimmer

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