For the first time in over a year, I skipped a Saturday run today. That shin pain that developed after my last marathon has been bugging me again this week, so I decided it would be best not to run 16 miles today. Plus, Saturday runs have not been so much fun lately.
I’ve been feeling discouraged about running and CrossFit and fitness in general lately.
Then we had a benchmark workout on the schedule at CrossFit. It’s an opportunity to measure ourselves to see that we’re progressing in our fitness. Our score was the total number of repetitions of several different exercises completed before the final buzzer. Of the girls, I finished last by quite a few repetitions.
And after running with a group for a year where I could easily run at the front of the group, I moved up a pace group where I’m lagging way behind everyone else, crying inside, the coach plodding along beside me, encouraging me so I could just finish the run.
What is going on? Why is everything such a challenge? Why can’t I do better? These are the questions I’m asking myself as I mentally berate myself from the back of the pack for not keeping up with the others.
As I’ve mulled this over, thinking about my performance in the various activities I participate in, it came to me. Things are harder because I’m pushing myself.
The Sweetheart Run with the disappointing 10K time? It was actually a 15K PR. So it wasn’t a consecutive 15K, but I understand now why my 10K time wasn’t better. For a total of 9 miles, I made myself run raster than I did during my last 15K.
And that CrossFit workout that I’m bummed about? I actually completed more repetitions than I did last time, and, unlike last time, I did not scale the workout. I used the weights and distances that the workout is meant to be done with. Gains!
And maybe I am bringing up the rear in my running group, but I’m running at a faster pace for a longer distance, something my body is not yet used to. Perspective. When I stop comparing myself to others and look at the gains I’ve made, I’m doing okay. Things are hard now because I’m making my body work hard, but that’s how fitness gains happen. And that’s really what it’s all about. Whatever you do to keep yourself fit, it’s not a competition (unless you’re a professional athlete in which case you probably wouldn’t be reading my little blog!). It’s not about comparing yourself to others; it’s about pushing yourself to be the best, the strongest, the fastest, the fittest you can be.
So I traded in my running shoes for dumbbells today and got my glisten on. Hopefully, next week I’ll be back with my running group, trying to remember that my place at the back of the pack means I’m getting stronger!
Talk to me:
How are your fitness goals coming along?
How are you feeling about your current level of fitness?