Ladies and Gentlemen, would it be presumptuous for me to ask for a petite round of applause? I mean, in my efforts to become a [better] runner, I’m fighting time, inactivity, weight, oldness, gravity, global warming, crime… Wait, no, that’s what is happening on the episode of Criminal Minds I watched last night.
For me, running is more of a mental challenge than anything. I can be verrrry persuasive, let me tell you. Generally speaking, the internal conversation I have ends in “Today is definitely a sit-on-the-couch kind of day, let’s work out tomorrow or maybe the next day… Actually, next week is looking like a good workout week. We’ll chat then.”
That being said, when I celebrate small victories along the way I am more motivated to continue pushing forward. The past two weeks may not be anything impressive on a large scale, but for me, they are a big victory. Here is what my workout calendar looks like:
By the way, on June 16th I am a bridesmaid in my brother’s wedding (I CAN’T WAIT!!!). Although those pictures will be around for years to come, and I’d rather not look at them with regret, that isn’t my primary motivator. It’s just easier to have a countdown to something – a benchmark point, per se. Countdown: 145 days. 🙂
1. In past months, the workout calendar at the end of the month would have more closely resembled the February part of that picture than the January part.
2. I’ve consistently exercised 5x per week since the race. Running, power walking with a friend and swimming have made the cut so far. Exploring yoga and kick boxing in the near future.
3. I’m almost embarrassed to write this, but my 2 mile runs each week have increased in speed from a solid 10:30 min pace to 10:10 min.
- Physically, I am capable of pushing longer distances and faster speeds. If I ramp up too quickly, though, I’ll end up hating running and burn out.
- Mentally, I have to increase my running consistency to prove to myself I can handle it or I’ll defeat myself before I even try.
“Once upon a time, I was/did/could…” Generally, this isn’t a helpful thought. It serves as a baseline memory that genetically I am athletic, but beyond that it is a tool for discouragement.
“I can/will/am going to…” That’s my approach. I can run 2 miles and I have consistently for the past 2 weeks. I will continue increasing my speed. I will increase the distance I run in February. I am going to run several 5k races in Raleigh, the first of which will be Run for the Roses on Sunday, February 12. I will run the whole way without stopping, no matter how slow or fast I am going.
Someday I’ll be blogging about how I went out for a casual 10 mile run in preparation for another half-marathon and I’ll come back to this post as a reminder about how far I’ve come. It is a battle to come back from 2 years of inactivity, but it is so worth it to be healthy.