My plan to stay motivated is working so far. I got up and did my week 11 day 2 run at 6:30 this morning. Right from the start, this was a very different beast from Sunday’s run. There was more wind for one thing, and I got slowed down in multiple places trying to cross busy […]
Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can. -Arthur Ashe I had a simple running goal for this year: I wanted to run an 8K before Eternal Winter returned. Imagine my surprise when that turned out to be pretty easy for me. Well, maybe not easy, but I got […]
My dear friend, clear your mind of can’t. -Samuel Johnson This morning was the first time I’ve gone for a run in a week. I’ve been locked in a battle with my alarm clock (well, I would be if I used an actual alarm clock), and my run has been losing. I’m always amused by […]
A funny thing happened when I started tracking my runs with Strava: I started pushing myself harder. Funny how that works, isn’t it? I finally saw the full consequence of that little bit of extra push on my run this morning. This run. It’s another interval practice on my 10K trainer: run 15 minutes, […]
I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying. -Michael Jordan
I am running longer and farther than I ever thought I was capable of, and it’s an amazing feeling. I expected training for a 10K would challenge me both mentally and physically.
The challenge I didn’t expect is not to my lungs, legs, heart, or will to carry on. It’s to my resolve to be kind to myself.
This morning’s run was the start of a new week, and it was tough. There’s a disclaimer at the beginning of the 10K trainer that these runs are supposed to be challenging, and to not be surprised if you have to repeat them before you’re ready to move on.
Intellectually I can accept that.
It presented me with a dilemma this morning. I had just moved into the next round of intervals and it became pretty apparent during my second 15 minute stretch that I was going to have a very, very hard time finishing the third one.
As I pushed myself physically, I was going to have to try to find the line between doing as much as I was capable of, and not pushing myself too hard. I don’t like leaving things unfinished, you see. I am apparently very susceptible to the sunk cost fallacy.
It wasn’t until this morning that I realized I was challenging my self-kindness at all. I knew I had reached the point it was time to stop when my form really started to suffer. To run those final 3.5 minutes of that last interval wouldn’t have been kind or healthy for me, it was going to be too much.
I get a lot of satisfaction from finishing a run and making progress toward my 2015 goal. Today I got a lot of satisfaction from finding my limit and not going over it. Today I was testing my capacity for self-love, and I passed the test.
Inhale: 1, 2 Exhale: 1, 2, 3 It’s somewhere around 6:30 am. I’ve been out here for a while and I have a couple miles left to go. I never wear a watch, so time moves strangely. Really, it’s as though I’m out of the time stream entirely. All I can feel are my feet […]
The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall. -Ralph Waldo Emerson
My blogging streak continues! Ahem.
Last Sunday was supposed to be a pretty long run for me. I hadn’t managed to stick to my ideal schedule, but it should have been okay.
Except that last Saturday night was a birthday/going away party for one of my favorite colleagues, so I both had some wine and stayed out too late. Then, of course, my sleep was more disrupted than usual.
It all added up to me deciding to forget my training regimen and just do a straight 2.5 mile run.
Did I mention that this was my first run with my new running shoes? No? Well, that was happening too.
Somewhere between 1.5 and two miles (I’ll never know because I forgot to turn on my GPS, it really was a hum-dinger of a morning) I just… hit a wall. So I walked for 2 minutes and then finished up the last half mile at a decent clip.
There was a time in my life when I would have internalized this as failure. It would have become a giant mental club to further beat myself into the ground with. “Look how worthless you are, you can’t even go for a run. Why did you stay out late with friends and drink wine anyway? It’s like you want to fail, failure.”
That was a long time ago* though.
This last Sunday, my mental dialogue was more like this: “Huh. That didn’t go as planned. Whatever, I’m gonna go eat some brunch. I can’t wait to try again on Tuesday!”
There was no judgement or self-recrimination. I didn’t get lost in a narrative about how much I stink. I just used it as fuel to try again next time and moved on with my day. That right there? That is progress. That is a wellness adventure.
This morning was my next scheduled run, and I went out and crushed it.
There will be other things that won’t go as planned, it’ll happen a lot. I’m not concerned though, I know it’s not a failure, it’s an opportunity.
How about you? Do you have any stories you’d like to share?
*Not really, it’s probably only been a few months since I was able to fully internalize that I am made of as much awesome as everyone else I know.
First, mindful eating has changed my life. No exaggeration, I feel amazing!
Ahem, moving on…
Last week I had my first personal training session with Malik Turley at Hip Circle Studio. To say it was awesome is an understatement, but it’s an understatement Malik will appreciate.
As many of you know, I started running again this summer. It’s going well so far, but I noticed that my lungs are by far my limiting factor. My legs and heart could go forever (or at least farther than I’ve been going), but my lungs start to say “nah, we’re good with this much” earlier than I’d like.*
My mission (which I chose to accept): pace my breathing. Inhale for four steps, exhale for four steps.
I had been doing runs around 3 or 3.5 miles before I incorporated paced breathing. (Why wasn’t I doing it from the start? Ignorance, plain and simple.) My first run after that session: I ran outta steam after 2 miles. Whomp, whomp.
I’m happy to say that after this morning’s run I am back on track. It took some mantras, but I got it done. I am officially training for a 10K with new and improved breathing habits.
Has anyone else struggled with this? Did you have to retrain?
*When I was a cyclist I didn’t ever work hard enough to need to pace my breathing. Sometimes I really miss those days, but most of the time I’m really grateful for the challenge!
I wrote about a recent realization I had about my own physical capabilities. In a small way, I have experienced what it’s like when your body “betrays” you.
That feeling still lingers in the periphery of my awareness, that tiny little voice telling me, “you can’t” when I start to consider whether or not to push myself harder. It spoke up when I decided to start taking kettlebell and boxing classes (which I absolutely love), and it spoke up when I decided to start running again.
Sure, the last time I took up running was when my wrist issues were just starting and I had no idea what was coming. I ended up running for a couple of months and stopping when I had chronic hip pain and bronchitis. That was a fun summer.
I have to remind myself sometimes that I really have changed my relationship with my body in the past two years. I give it love and care that it would never have occurred to me to give back then.
So this past Sunday morning I had a little thought, one of those little sparks of inspiration that only hit me when I’m outside in the fresh air, I should run a marathon the year I turn 35.
That means I should aim to run a half-marathon next year and go the full monty the year after that. That seems just over the line of what’s possible, like I’m being a little overly-ambitious. Good.
I’m putting this new idea out on the blog now for two reasons. One, putting this intention out there for all the world to see will be great motivation. And two, because even if I don’t do it, even if I fail (oh no, not that word!!), there’s a lesson waiting for me here.
So, any favorite marathons to recommend? I think I might as well go someplace a little more exotic than downtown Chicago in case 2017 is my only attempt. Next up: better running shoes!