It seems as if life has been a bit of a wirl wind since the Historic Haunt. I guess I put enough energy into getting things ready for the race that when it was over I had to play catch up on all my other responsibilities. Because of that I haven’t put a new blog post up here for a while. Most of you probably didn’t notice and the rest likely see it as a good thing. Either way I am somewhat caught up on life and ready to go at this again. Continue reading Are You Having Fun?
I don’t know if you have heard of the Running Shoes Guru, but it is a website that I check from time to time to get reviews on different items and see if anything new jumps out at me. At some point I ended up on a mailing list for them and get an email every now and then. The text below is from the latest email I received. I think it speaks to a problem that a lot of us runners deal with from our non-running family and friends. The big question we all get….Why do you run so much? Isn’t it going to hurt your body?
Check out what the Running Shoes Guru found for us. Continue reading Why do you run so much? Isn’t it going to hurt your body?
I am a big fan of trying to simplify things down to the most basic level. If you do this, then this will happen. I believe most people try to overthink things. Most to the point that the answer becomes so cloudy and unclear that you never get the answer you are looking for. I am very motivated by a challenge. I do best when I can set a goal and work towards that goal. The best part for me isn’t even actually accomplishing the goal. When I accomplish the goal I have a slight feeling of apprehension. My goal is gone, therefore my motivation is gone and I don’t feel settled.
The journey is what I love. I love working towards a race and adding a mile to my distance each Saturday. Every week I go further than the last and each week I feel good about my accomplishment. Well, that’s the way it is supposed to be anyway. No matter how much we plan and want things to work out it doesn’t always go the way we want.
I was getting up this morning for my run well before the sun was out. I started my routine to get out the door and just stopped and stood there for a minute. My brain was processing that if I laid back down in bed I could sleep for another hour or even more. It seemed like a great idea. I could run tonight and sleep now, what could possibly make getting up this early a better idea. Continue reading Why Do You Do It?
I did it. I ran the Bluegrass 10,000 along with approx 2500 of my closest friends. Actually, I ran it with several Run Richmond friends, sort of. Next time we organize a spot to gather for a photo. I couldn’t find most of you in the mix of people. It ended up being a pretty good day to run. A little muggy, but the rain held off mostly. The streets had lots of spectators braving the potential rain and that always make a race more fun.
If you read here often you likely know that I have been working to get back to racing fitness. An ankle injury and then a sickness knocked me out for about 2 months and I lost almost all endurance. So this 10K was my first test to see if I was on the right track. Trying to get back on track has been frustrating, to say the least. I am a firm believer that walking some in your runs is OK and that every day a run/walk is better than a walk. Along with that, a walk is better than the TV. Two years ago I ran my first half marathon and didn’t walk. I was past the point of needing to walk in my long runs. Continue reading Do You Have A Plan?
Way back in 2015 I started a journey that saw me lose 50 lbs and get to a level of health that I hadn’t seen in over 20 years. The great part about that was how well everything else started falling into place as the weight kept falling off. I had more energy which made doing stuff with my family easy. I was running seriously for the first time in my life and I just kept setting new goals and not only hitting them but exceeding them. In the fall of 2015, I got below 200 lbs for the first time since I could remember. It would have probably been my first year of college, but I don’t know for sure.
I tell you all that so that you understand what 2016-2017 has looked like. Over the last couple years, I have continued to run. I have continued to write articles trying to encourage others to stay focused on getting healthier. I even ran my first full marathon. The problem is that during that time I have slowly gained weight back. Not all the weight, but enough to make it hard for me to keep going at the pace I was before. My races have not been PR races. My energy level may still be up from what it once was, but it certainly isn’t where it could be.
This has been a big frustration of mine over the last year. I got settled into a routine that wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t great. I was still doing lots of good things for my health, but all of a sudden it seems they have been overshadowed by the lack of discipline at the dinner table. Then I had my ankle injury this spring. That really set me back. Not being able to run for almost 8 weeks was really rough on my body. I need to get those miles to counteract some of my other choices. When I wasn’t running I gained weight quickly. I fell much farther back on my fitness level than I would have ever dreamed.
So I found myself quickly back to a place I was in early 2015. Unable to run an entire workout without walking. Needing to get a serious diet going to lose weight. Most of this spring that has been my place. Needing to do those things. But when I would run I would get discouraged because I knew what I SHOULD be able to do. I would quickly lose motivation with the diet because I felt as though it was a lost cause.
I have said it before and I know I will again, but I am motivated by a challenge. So I challenged myself to sign up for the same fall half marathon that was the first one I ever ran back in 2015. The one that started it all. The challenge those is to get my time for that race from the 8:37 pace from the first time to an 8:00 pace this time. Clearly, that can’t happen with extra weight. So I have gotten serious about my diet. Since I have put pressure on this it has been so much easier.
I feel good that I can meet my goal, but I also have decided that if I do the best that I can each day that is all that’s necessary. I may not be able to run today like I did a couple years ago. But the only way I will ever be able to is to do my best today. I don’t beat myself up for walking on 3 mile runs right now, because that is where I am right now. I know I can run better tomorrow, but today that is who I am.
Most likely the greatest critic you will ever have is you. I know this is true of me. I can get so frustrated at myself for the letting things spiral backward. I just happen to be in a spot right now that has reminded me to work like I did back in 2015 if I want to get to the places I got to in 2015. If you work now the way you should you will be better soon. It takes time but continued hard work will always come with a payoff. So no matter how much it hurts or how bad you want to throw in the towel, just keep at it. Do you best today so you can be your best tomorrow!
I have written other times about how you gain strength through adversity. How you need to have stress added to your current situation to become stronger. If we look at that with a running analogy you would say something like…
Running an easy mile at a 11 minute pace everyday for a year won’t make you a better 5K runner. What will make you a better 5K runner is pushing yourself and adding distance and eventually push even farther by adding speed with that new distance. Over time the stress you are adding to your workout will make you a stronger runner. Staying at the same comfortable 11 min pace, 1 mile each day doesn’t make you a stronger runner. It can only maintain you at the level you are already.