Sunday, May 18, 2014

Catching Up + A Simple Summer Running Goal

FLF Collage 5_18_14

Hello, hello!  Long time, no write on this blog!

April was one rocket ship of a month, barreling forward with all the momentum of a semester coming to its end.  It was a very successful month, income-wise, and I’m grateful for that.  My wallet and I needed that boost!

Rather than doing a really tedious week-by-week listing of my fitness pursuits, I’ll summarize April by saying that I walked.  Nearly every day, I forced myself to step away from the computer to get outside for at least a 15-minute walk.  Some days I ran, but more often, I walked.  It surprised me how hard it was mentally to set aside my work or other tasks so that I could get some exercise, but the discipline was good to enforce.  Also, once I had a 10K on the calendar, I felt compelled to kick up my efforts a notch.  Moving into May, my longest run before our 10K was 40 minutes (about 4 miles, based on my pace estimate).  My niece and I did this work-out together: she rode her bike ahead of me.  I pushed her to ride a little further than perhaps she would have done on her own, but she did great!  And she was so proud of herself too, which was adorable.  Then we both promptly came down with a nasty cold, and running was not an option. 

I was able to rally for our 10K race.  It turns out that JD and I are both out-of-shape runners, which is to say that we aren’t at our fittest right now.  We decided that this is okay, that it wasn’t something to get anxious or upset about.  I think over the course of our respective running careers, we’ve experienced peaks and valleys in our fitness—JD was very well-trained for the Detroit Marathon that we ran together in October 2013.  In recent years, I have been at my fittest right before running my annual March half-marathon.  I know what it feels like to be in really good running shape, and I’m not there right now.

While I think it’s okay to participate in running events even if you aren’t at your fittest, I’m feeling tired of not being more fit.  I feel caught between compassion and self-acceptance (telling myself, “Your life has been busy and chaotic, running hasn’t been a top priority, having a set of healthy habits is more important than running, etc.”) versus feeling like ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!  The time has come to reclaim my running life.

And really, the time could not be better than now.  I’m down to one job for the summer (unless I can pick up some summer tutoring…), Paul and I aren’t traveling much, and I don’t have any special events on my calendar until we move in July.  In short, I have time to reclaim my athletic life.  My goal for the summer is to establish a habit of running three times a week.  Minimum distance is one mile (or ten minutes) of running.  It’s a modest enough goal that I feel good about setting it.  Maybe I’ll even bring back the star chart to visually track my progress!  That would be fun.

What are your summer running goals, friends?  Any races on your calendars?

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