Half-Marathon Training: Bringing Up the Rear

Another week of training is behind me.  Did I meet that determined goal to get all my miles in?

Well, kinda.  (Do y’all say kinda and y’all where y’all live or is that an Oklahoma thing?)  I got my Monday recovery run in and most of Tuesday’s track workout.  That aggravating hip flexor/groin issue is acting up again, and I had to cut the workout short on Tuesday.  Now, it’s MRI time to see what’s going on in there.  Great.

035I managed to sneak in a short run Wednesday before work (it was actually quite invigorating), and I was all prepared to get a run in Thursday morning when I left work.  I had my bag with me and everything, but a long night shift and a second shift coming up Thursday night squashed my will and determination.  Exhaustion won out, so I wen039t home and crashed instead of running.  And once again, I missed a workout.

Today, our long run day, we had 9 miles on the schedule.  I was feeling a bit nervous since my longest run over the last few months has only been 8 miles.  But I went into today’s run with a bit of a race strategy in mind.  I know me and that it takes 4-5 miles for me to find my groove.  It just takes me a while to find my breath and rhythm and pace, but when I find it, I’m ready to run.

So I stayed in the back of the group, pacing myself a bit slower but keeping the group within striking distance.  I found myself, at first, wanting to scold myself for not keeping up with the group.  You may remember I’ve had issues with being in the back of the pack before.  But as I ran, I realized some really great things were happening back there:

  1.  I had a chance to soak in my music and our surroundings.  So many times when I’m running in the thick of the group, I’m keeping up with conversations, trying to not run into people, trying to keep up but not go too fast.  But in the back I ran mostly alone, and I had time to really listen to my music and to enjoy the scenery around me.  Score for being in the back!
  2. I learned from my fellow runners.  When you run in the back, you only see the backs of people.  But that’s a great vantage point to watch running form.  I saw all kinds of gaits today, but what I honed in on was one guy who looked totally relaxed as he ran.  His arms were swinging gently from his shoulders, and while his elbows were tight to his side, his shoulders were totally relaxed.  I took a mental picture and filed it away.  That’s how I want to be when I run.  Score again for being in the back!
  3. I learned patience and pacing.  Long distance running involves a lot of patience and proper pacing.  Go out too fast and you’ll wear yourself out before you get to the finish line.  I’ve been told over and over as I’ve trained for long races to be patient.  Stick with your pace, and then when it’s time to go for it, use the energy you’ve stored up in not going out too fast to finish the race strong.  But pacing myself has always been hard.  Even with a running watch.  That’s one of the best things about running with a group.  The coach sets the pace and all I have to do is stay behind him.  But today, in the back by myself, I couldn’t just rely on the coach’s 046pacing.  I had to consciously pace myself a bit slower.  It’s hard to not get into race mode when you’re running behind people.  I just always want to catch them, but today, when I would start to get too close, I’d adjust my pace.  And it worked!  By about mile 4 I had my Popeye moment where everything inside of me started to feel alive; my legs felt loose and light, and then I ran with the group, in the middle of things, for the remaining 5 miles and felt great doing it!  Score yet again for bringing up the rear!

So onward and upward!  I have some time off from work this next week when work will not be an excuse to keep me from meeting my running goals.  It’s been a week of good runs, and I feel encouraged (if I had a “thumbs up” emoji, it would go right here!).

Talk to me:

What did you do this past week?

What are some common phrases in your neck of the woods?

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Half-Marathon Training: Time Trials!

So we’re about 4 weeks into half-marathon training, and it’s been a month of ups and downs.  And time trials.

Sometimes I’ll have a good run, and I think the slump that’s been hounding me this entire year is on the downhill slope, but then another run happens that leaves me feeling like a novice runner, and I come home feeling beat up and discouraged.  But I keep lacing up my shoes and heading out the door because one thing I refuse to be is a quitter.

Over the last few weeks our training has included a couple of different time trials.  Time trials are benchmark runs used as a measure of fitness.  They’re generally not much fun but they are incredibly useful in assessing progress, or lack thereof.

The first time trial was a 1.5 mile run at the track.  Yeah, you know me and track workouts, so a fast 1.5 miles at the track was NOT something I was looking forward to.  For those 6 laps we were instructed to run at 100% effort.  Give it all you’ve got.  Get out of your comfort zone.  Run as hard as you can.  And this was the weather forecast for the evening of the time trial–just one word:  HOT!  012The coaches don’t cancel track workouts until the heat index reaches 105 degrees, so since we were only like at a heat index of 104 (kidding–I have no idea what the heat index was but actual temps felt like 104!), the workout was a go.

I ran the first mile in 8:08, not my fastest mile, but I was okay with that time.  But with 2 laps to go, I just couldn’t hold on.  I was starting to feel queasy, whether from the heat or effort I’m not sure, but I ended up walking about 100 meters of each of the last 2 laps and finished my 1.5 miles in a disappointing 13:09.014Then today was the Bedlam Run, a local 5K/10K, that our training used as 023a 5K time trial.  We needed to run 6 miles one way or another, so some chose to run the 10K.  I chose to run a 1.5 mile warm-up and cool-down on my own and race the 5K.  I was a bit nervous since I haven’t been running well and my last 5K was a total disaster, but the warm-up felt good, the weather was exceptionally cool for August in Oklahoma, and I felt excited to run.

While the race was meant to be a time trial, I also knew that with the struggle I’d been having with pace and distance, if I pushed myself too hard, I wouldn’t be able to finish, even a 5K, so I went into the 037race with a goal of running half-marathon race pace, 8:50-9:15 per mile.  From the start I hit 8:50, felt great, and had a good race finishing in 27:44, third in my age group.  That was an unexpected surprise!  And there were super yummy pancakes at the after party.

030I felt good during the race but had a terrible time with the 1.5 mile cool-down (go figure), but over all I was encouraged–until I checked the chart that predicts race times based on a current race.  So with a 5K time of 27:30-28:00, it’s not likely that I can set a half-marathon PR.  Boo!  Hiss!

There’s a part of me that just wants to throw in the towel, but the competitor in me says I have to keep trying.  The realist in me also knows that I have to be prepared to adjust my race goal.  Maybe, if everything is perfect and it’s my day, maybe I can run a PR on race day.  But if it’s not my day, I’m trying to accept that a good goal is racing my best, feeling good doing it, and finishing strong, regardless of time.  It’s not the finish I want, but as with all things in life, it’ll be a learning experience, and I’ll gain something from it if I just look for it.

So onward and upward!  Tomorrow starts a new week.  I WILL get my miles in!

Talk to me:

How are your health and fitness goals coming along?

What did you do today or this weekend?

Half Marathon Training: I Didn’t Die

This week began the official training for the fall half and full marathon season.  I was a bit nervous to begin training since I’d kind of lost my running mojo, but at the same time I was excited to have a new goal to work towards.

Mondays are recovery run days, where the goal is just to move but not to overtax the muscles.  It’s to allow the muscles to heal from the long run of Saturday so the run is short and slow.  Even though we hadn’t yet done a long run, we ran recovery pace for 3 miles.  It was miserably hot (when is it not in Oklahoma in July [insert frowny face]?), but despite the heat and humidity, the run felt great.  I came home drenched in sweat but feeling immensely content and incredibly happy to just be able to run.

But then Tuesday morning came.  Track workout.  Thankfully, track workouts are offered at 6a.m. during the summer.  Running speed intervals during the heat of 6p.m. just makes me really unhappy, but at 6a.m., temperatures are a little lower which makes the workouts slightly more bearable.  If you followed me during marathon training at all, you know I do NOT like track workouts.  But I do them because the benefit is huge.  Running speed intervals has been crucial in helping m008e develop speed.  But this week the workout felt so hard.  Maybe it was because I had just run less than 12 hours before, or maybe it was because we did long intervals–1 x 1200 and 4 x 800.  Anyway, I only made it through 3 800 meter intervals.  On that third 800, my pace was way off, my legs were lead, and I was just done.  I had to come home and just lay on the floor for a bit to recover.  I hate that I wimped out, but…I did a CrossFit workout following track.  Maybe that made up for it???

Wednesday morning was an early CrossFit workout, followed by a bike ride at the river.  I’d like to truly add in some cross training during this training session.  I counted CrossFit as cross training during marathon 013training, but it’s really strength and conditioning.  Cross training mimics running, in that it’s exercise that uses the same big muscles as running–walking, cycling, etc.  So with Wednesday being cross training day, I cross trained with a bike ride.  I’m always humbled by how unfit cycling makes me feel.  I can run for 30 minutes without struggling, but 30 minutes on my bike makes me huff and puff.  I guess that’s a sign I need to spend more time on my bike, uh?

Thursday.  Holy cow!  I was so sore.  Speed intervals, heavy deadlifts…just sitting down was hard.  Thankfully, strength training in CrossFit focused more on upper body.  My running training schedule called for a 3 mile run with “sprinkles”, 30 second bursts of basically sprinting.  I thought I could get it in after CrossFit, but the conditioning workout included 400 meter runs.  I did 3 rounds of the workout, running each 400 meter in under 2 minutes which just did me in.  The workout helped to decrease my soreness, but I had nothing left in the tank for a running workout.

Friday morning, I got off work and headed to the gym for a bicep/tricep workout.  It was a short 30 minute workout.  I was hoping to pick up the run that I missed the day before, but sleep won out, and I missed the run again.

Saturday.  My favorite run of the week!  Saturday runs are long slow distance.  It’s the longest run of the week but at a conversational pace.  I love these runs, and today’s run felt amazing.  Because I’m training for a PR, I picked a pace group just one step faster than the pace I’d trained with for the marathon.  I felt a bit nervous, but the pace f015elt great!  It gave me just the right amount of challenge.  I felt I was working hard (well, kind of hard) at the end but never really struggling.  It started raining just as we finished our 6 miles, but who could tell?  We were already dripping wet with sweat from the pea soup like humidity [insert another frowny face].  But I came home feeling great, excited about running again, and feeling encouraged that the PR I’m going for might actually be within reach!

All in all, a good first week of training.  I picked up the pace, and I didn’t die!  Yay!  Here’s to the second week of training, and not missing a run this time.

Talk to me:

What’s the weather like right now where you live?

Do you enjoy running, or being outside, in the rain?

The First Mile

It’s 100 degrees here in Oklahoma, but last night I attended an event to kick off the fall race training season.  Seems kind of strange, right?  It’s boiling hot but we’re gearing up for fall races.  I mean, you know it’s seriously hot when the cooler of water looks like this:

041But when your goal is a 15K, half-marathon, or marathon some time in the fall, now’s the time to start training.  And Tulsa has a lot of great races coming up in the fall–Tulsa Run 15K, Route 66 marathon.  I’m giddy with excitement!

Yep.  That means–HERE WE GO AGAIN!!!  But this time I’ll be training for a half marathon, instead of the entire 26.2 miles.  I’ve been in a running slump for most of this year, struggling with pace, distance, and just enjoyment of the sport, and I’m just not mentally prepared for the rigorous, 30-40 miles of running a week marathon training involves.  This summer I’ve just taken it easy.  I’ve run at a pace that felt good, not pushing myself, running when I wanted to instead of running because I felt I had to.

And I’m feeling my running mojo return.

Last night I attended The First Mile.  Hundreds of runners descended on a local Fleet Feet (running) store, gathered into pace groups, and took off 043in the insufferable heat for a 1-mile or 3-mile run.  Me?  I went for the 3 mile run.  One mile’s just a warm up!

And it was awesome!  I saw some friends I haven’t seen in months, and getting to run with them was just great.  The run felt good, and I came back feeling excited to begin training again.  But first, I hung out in the shade holding up the wall for a while.  It was stinkin’ HOT!  I was ever so grateful for the lady who came around passing out cold, wet towels.  Heaven, I tell you!042Once I cooled off, I enjoyed some of the free goodies–sweet potato burrito and a green apple Sno-Cone.  I seriously can’t remember when I last had a Sno-Cone, and in this heat, it was divine!

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So here we go again!  My goal is a half-marathon PR with a finish time of 2 hours or less.  I’ll have to work hard for that, but I’m feeling excited and ready to go for it.  Come along with me on my half-marathon adventure and see if I get that PR!

Talk to me:

What’s a new goal you’ve set for yourself?

What’s  your favorite Sno-Cone flavor?

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Global Running Day and The Big Run

Yesterday was Global Running Day.  It’s a day meant to celebrate the joys of running.  And what’s so cool is that anyone can participate.  The inclusiveness of running is something I really love about the sport.  Whether you run like a herd of turtles through peanut butter (I borrowed that from a T-shirt I saw) or you run like the speed of sound, if you run, you’re a runner, and Global Running Day is all about doing what we love to do.

And thinking about Global Running Day just gives me warm fuzzies.  I mean, how cool is it to share something with people from every country of the world?  It makes the world a smaller, more friendly place to think of people around the world lacing up their shoes and heading out the door, all on the same day for the same reason.

In celebration of Global Running Day, my favorite local running store, Fleet Feet, hosted The Big Run last night.  It was a locally run 5K that was also run nationally.  So essentially runners from around the nation competed against each other.  So fun!

It was the first running of this 5K, so I was happy to be able to participate in it.  And it was held on the Riverwalk, a walking/running/biking trail along the Arkansas River, one of my favorite places to run.041

 

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This was a much smaller race than other races I’ve participated in, but there was the usual pre-race socializing, complete with the Fleet Feet shoe. 044And the obligatory row of porta-potties.043Finally it was time for the race to begin, and off we went on this historic run!  I knew from the start this was going to be a tough race for me.  It was something like 80 degrees F, which always slows me down, and my legs were really tight and sore from CrossFit.  Right around the halfway mark, I had to walk for a bit, and from then on, it was run/walk the rest of the way.  Needless to say, I finished in a disappointing 30 minutes 39 seconds, the worst 5K time I’ve had in probably 2 years.  I placed a disappointing 6th out of 29 in my age division.

But as I was talking to one of the Fleet Feet coaches later about my miserable 5K time, he said, “Well, you can’t have the good races without the bad ones.”  And he’s right.  How will I know when I have a good race if I don’t have a bad one now and then?

So I just enjoyed the atmosphere and the post-race party, complete with band, pizza and beer (none for me, thank you!).051There’s always a next time, and if there’s one thing that disappointing races do, it’s to motivate me to work hard so it won’t happen again.

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Talk to me:

What did you do yesterday?

Where’s your favorite place for a run or a walk?

To Sticker or Not to Sticker?

Following the Route 66 marathon, my second, last November, this happened:IMG_1576Yes, I became one of those obnoxious people with a 26.2 sticker on the car window.

I was going into work a few nights ago.  I have to cross an air bridge from the parking garage to the hospital, and parts of it are frigid.  Seriously, the air blasting out of the vents is like Jack Frost breathing on you.  (Remember, that Santa Clause movie where Jack Frost freezes everyone with his breath?)  So I walk fast, partly because I’m freezing my tushy off but also because I just naturally walk kind of fast.

Anywho, I came upon another nurse going to work.  He made the remark, “I’m going to get out of your way.  I saw you get out of that car with 26.2 on it!”

I just laughed, and said, “That doesn’t mean I can run fast!”

But that brief exchange has stuck with me and has made me think a lot about why I put a 26.2 sticker on my car.  Is it making other people feel I’m superior to them?  Does it seem like I’m bragging?  Am I sending a message that I belong to some exclusive club?

That certainly was not my intention, but I began to feel rather self-conscious about the sticker on my car.

But it got me thinking about why marathoners put stickers on their cars, and I have to say I think it’s the same reason people put any kind of sticker on their cars.  I’ve seen cars pulling into the garage ahead of me with some “RN” or nursing related themed bumper sticker.  I see the stickers of families, where there’s a sticker for Mom, Dad, big brother, little sister, and the dog.  I see political stickers from both Republican and Democratic supporters.  I see stickers about Jesus, guns, a child who made the honor roll, and some with no real cause except to make you chuckle.

But the one thing all those stickers have in common is that they represent what’s important to those who drive the car.  They let us know who you are.  I think bumper stickers are a way of connecting with our fellow humans.  They tell stories of accomplishments and hint at beliefs and passions.

So I’m not going to feel bad about a 26.2 sticker on my car.  Running is an important part of my life, and running a marathon is a big achievement, something I’m proud of, and something that changed me.  It’s a part of who I am now, and that’s what my 26.2 sticker means to me.

Besides I don’t think that thing would come off if I wanted it to!

Talk to me:

What bumper stickers are on your car?

What’s the best bumper sticker you’ve ever seen?

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An Interview with My Favorite 4-year Old Runner

My niece Candice was born with hearing loss, but seriously, unless you saw her hearing aids, you’d never know she had a hearing problem, thanks to Happy Hands.

Happy Hands is this super cool preschool and kindergarten for kids with hearing loss or communication disorders.  The kids learn to sign, along with all the other things preschoolers have to learn.

Candice has been going to Happy Hands for a few years now, and I am just amazed at the progress that kiddo has made.  Her speech is right on par for a 4-year old and her hands are so expressive when she signs.  She blows my mind.  Well, all my nieces and nephews blow my mind for that matter.  Seriously, how did I get the privilege of being Aunt Nita to such great kiddos?

But back to Happy Hands…I am so grateful for everyone who makes that school function, from office staff to teachers and everyone in between.  Every year the school does a fun run as a fundraiser.  You may remember that I attended last year as well.  I can see myself attending this fun run for a lot of years to come.

The run itself is set up in the parking lot of the school.  Cones divide the space and arrows chalked on the pavement point the direction to run.  I love this starting line!071And there are all kinds of fun characters that attend.  Candice was totally enamored with Jimmy’s Egg, or the big marshmallow as one cutie pie called him!079The police and fire department also came.  I love this look on Candice’s face as she waits with anticipation to see the fire truck.

070At the end of the run, I “interviewed” Candice.

Isn’t she just the cutest thing ever?!  She is definitely my favorite 4-year old runner!  Here’s to lots of years of “running super fast!”

I love when the things I’m passionate about collide, and this Happy Hands fun run fundraiser does just that.  It takes running and turns it into an avenue to support on organization that is helping my sweet niece find her way in a big world.  If you’re looking for a worthwhile organization to support, check out Happy Hands.

Talk to me:

What’s one of the best fundraisers you’ve ever attended?

What’s been the best part of your week this far?

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Running Coach!

A few weeks ago I spent the weekend in Little Rock, Arkansas, at St. Vincent’s hospital.IMG_1069No, don’t worry!  I wasn’t there because someone was sick.  I was there for educational purposes, and it wasn’t nursing or anything medically related.

Curious yet?

I attended a running coach certification course!  It was a weekend jammed full of information on the different types of runners, what different types of runners need, and how to design training programs for runners from a couch to 5K to a marathon.

I have to admit.  It was pretty overwhelming.  I never realized what went into the training that I’ve been through.  I just showed up and ran with my group, followed the coach’s instructions and lead, and then on race day, I showed up and ran my race!  The science and discussion behind various training strategies is fascinating–and complicated!

Anywho, attending the course was the first step towards certification.  The next step was successfully passing the online exam.

My goal for this week was to complete the exam.  We could take as long as we needed to complete it, as long as we completed in within 30 days of the course.  So I started the exam yesterday.  I’d work through a few questions, take a break, come back to it.  This morning I finished the exam.

My heart starting beating fast as I hesitated over the submit button.  I had one chance, and there were a few questions I was unsure about.  But I knew that I had answered the questions to the best of my ability.  Come what may, I was done with the test.  I hit submit.  And then that 5 second wait that seemed like 5 hours was over and my score popped up on the screen.

Was that really my score?  I could feel my hands start to shake.  It’s over, I told myself.  Deep breath, girl.  You….PASSED!IMG_0337

Yes, I passed the exam, and Tulsa now has a new certified running coach.  So if you’re in the Tulsa area and you think you might like to be a runner, I’d love to help you reach that goal!

 

Talk to me:

Who’s the best coach you’ve ever had?  Why?

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My First Trail Run: The Spectacular Spill on Turkey Mountain

One thing on my running to-do list has been to try trail running.  But training for and running two marathons in one year didn’t leave much time for other running adventures.  So with no big races planned for 2017, when I saw the announcement about the Snake Run I decided to take the opportunity to try trail running.

Now, the name of the race seriously made me reconsider registering for the race since my fear of snakes borders on a phobia.  I am terrified petrified of snakes.  I hate them so much I made my sister read the reptile chapter in my eighth grade science class to me so I wouldn’t have to look at those pictures.  Shiver.

But once I scrolled past the picture of a colorful, coiled up snake (shiver, again) on the race’s website, I discovered that the name of the race came from the curvy nature of the trail on Turkey Mountain, a wilderness area right here in the middle of Tulsa (sweet!), and had nothing to do with snakes, thankfully.  Then, I learned that runners of this race chose a time limit of either 3 or 6 hours.  The objective, then, was to run as far as possible within that time limit.  Sounded like a good race for my first trail race, so I signed up.  At least if I made one lap and decided I hated trail running, I could just quit.  There wasn’t a distance I needed to complete.  Kind of took the pressure off, you know.

So for those of you who follow me on Facebook, here’s the story I promised you of why my first trail run ended like this:trail running, 1The day of the run dawned sunny and clear, a perfect day to run.  I was feeling a bit nervous since the rules of this race were so different from road races.  A veteran trail runner explained that we would make the 3.75 mile loop, check in at the start/finish line for our miles to be logged, and head back out for the next loop.  The strategy came in finishing the current loop before your time limit was up.  Otherwise, those last 3.75 miles would not be counted.

The 6 hour runners started, and 15 minutes later the gun went off for us lowly 3 hour runners.  I took my place in the line of runners along the narrow beginning of the trail, and my first trail run was underway.  I discovered that what I’d been told about trail running was absolutely true.  My pace was much slower, and I had to focus on the ground right in front of me to know where to put my feet.  Yep, just like they said.

snake run2, 2017About 2 miles in, I was feeling good, enjoying the new adventure of jumping over rocks, mud puddles, rocks, and ditches when all of sudden I found myself face down in the dirt.  But it wasn’t just a fall.  It was one of those falls that begins with a couple of bounces when you hit the ground and finally ends when you skid to a stop with an “oomph.”  A most spectacular spill, I’m sure, if I’d been on the viewing end of that initiation into trail running.  Other runners passed me like gazelles, slowing down enough to make sure I was okay and to pass on encouragement to “walk it off”, telling me that a fall makes me a true trail runner.  Sprawled on the ground, taking up the entire trail with limbs in every which direction, that did make me feel a bit better!

snake run1, 2017I landed hard on my left hip (enough to get road rash through my shorts, I discovered later), but running didn’t seem to make it worse, initially, so I kept going.  My goal was to run 13 miles in the 3 hours, but with each loop, my left leg and knee started protesting more and more and my lap times kept getting slower.  Finally, I noticed that I was holding my breath and with each step over tree limbs, rocks, or ditches, a little moan would escape from my mouth.  I decided that to risk further injury, the prudent thing to do was to end the race…at 12.75 miles.  I hate doing the prudent thing sometimes, especially so close to my goal.

So there you have it.  The story of my first trail run…and 2 weeks later, I’m still sporting a nice greenish bruise on my leg.  But fall and all, I had fun!

Talk to me:

What’s something new you’ve tried recently?

What’s something you’d like to try?

 

From the Back of the Pack

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.

Two weeks ago I ran the Sweetheart run double–a 5K followed by a 10K.  I was okay with my 5K time but 158disappointed in my 10K time.  It was almost 2 minutes off my PR.

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.

148The 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. 159Perspective.  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.

156So 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?