Ourselves vs. ourselves
As I struggle to get back to tip top running shape at the age of 76, I wonder why I ever let myself get “de-conditioned “ in the first place. Yes, life throws all of us curve balls but I always kept myself in 10k condition throughout my running life. Well, once I get back to 10k shape I am committing to running those 6.2 miles every Sunday until I can no longer do so. And Terrell, once you get back to half marathon shape, perhaps you will maintain that for the foreseeable future. My Dad used to say in business it takes “so much time & effort to acquire” a new customer that one should do “whatever it takes” to nurture & maintain & grow the relationship. Replacing a lost customer is soo difficult. Just like fitness, if we don’t strive to maintain, it is so easily lost. And that is one mountain that gets harder to climb with each passing year. So T, once you sweat with effort and achieve the “view” stay on top of the mountain with weekly mileage. I promise, you won’t regret it.
I did my 8 Sunday. Talked to myself a lot!! It was getting quite hot but I pushed through and walked here and there. Legs were good, just hot. Sometimes I think, I live in Florida, it's hot, get over it. But this year seems hotter than ever. See you in Richmond. (where the temps in November will have me crying about being too cold! Bring it on!)
When it’s >80F at 6 am, my long run is not very long. This morning, it was 68F so even though Monday is ‘always’ a rest day, it became ‘long run day.’ Around the lake. When I was running marathons, the lake was at the center of a sprawling 6.2-mile loop, which Facebook reminded me I ran 4x (and a little extra) on this date in 2020 for a virtual 50k. *That’s* a long run. Today, after a year of ‘issues’ and a summer of couch-sitting, “long” was just over 4 miles, hugging the lake and hoping to make it home without calling an Uber 😏 I did, but then I got home and transferred my “Ten for Texas” entry to the 5k. Slowly but surely, I will be back. 🏃🏼♀️🏃🏼♀️🏃🏼♀️🏃🏼♀️
So well timed Terrell (as usual!). Had my first 18 miler on Saturday. Conditions were the worst...DP above 70, humidity over 90% and warm. Sun managed to not make an appearance thankfully. I ran, jogged, walked, shuffled, stopped and did it all over again. My Coach wanted me to do the last mile faster (higher HR) - which I could NOT believe I pulled off. My learning? Trust the training to date, ensure I'm well hydrated, gelled etc and don't run out of stuff (which I didn't), and keep telling yourself it is time on your feet and no one cares how you get to the finish line...just get there as best you can. And I also learned, Saturday I could do it - the next one who knows? Running is strange like that - you think you'll have a good long run and then it falls apart. So, I've learned to be kind to myself, love myself for just getting out there, and love myself even more for trying. Hope you do the same.
Oh my gosh, Terrell! Your litany of thoughts and self-talk has SUCH a familiar sound- in a good way actually. I think the only way I got through my long runs when I was training for my half marathons was to debate myself in my head. It’s comical for me to think of it now, but at the time it was very serious stuff! I’m doing a 10k this weekend in the Fox Cities (northeastern Wisconsin) with an office friend of mine. She just lost her dad so I imagine we’ll walk most if not all of it. But I have committed in my mind to at least a few more half marathons! Richmond VA is too soon though. But I will be back..... thanks for a great conversation 😊
This is such a perfect timing and a great reminder of the power of mindset and regular training. I ran in a 12-mile event on Saturday and purposely pushed myself even on the hills to test a pace I want to run for the half-marathon in mid-October. I got very tired especially in the final 2 miles so I had the opportunity to learn how I handle fatigue in a a long event. What sort of self-talk arises? It’s my first race this year (of five events so far) where I truly had nothing left at the end.
All that to say, training works! Even the days when you don’t want to go or where you’re running super slow. It all counts.
You’re doing great Terrell! It’s hard to start over after a lapse in training.
My training has been off and on this summer since my marathon in June but trying to keep myself in half marathon shape. I did the Klondike relay this weekend. My first international race. It was the 40th anniversary for this race that starts in Skagway Alaska and ended in Whitehorse Canada in the Yukon. There are 10 legs. My leg was leg was leg 8 on Saturday morning. It was 12 miles of rolling hills. I‘ve slowed down some. This race is different as you are on a highway, you are supported by your team (ours rented an RV) but there are no stations between legs. You are running by yourself for large portions where you don’t see anyone for miles. It was a great adventure!
Our weather is cooling down and fall colors are out. We had another wet cold summer and it’s difficult to think about another long winter. On the 800 mile drive home it started to snow. No snow in Anchorage yet but definitely our fall is here.
Keep going Terrell! Let the body rest and relax the next couple of days then go again. Whenever I’m training it just becomes routine, a habit, without even thinking about it I’m 2km in before I realise where I am sometimes.
Right now for me, it’s 13 days until the Berlin marathon. I told you before I was struggling for motivation but it was also the extremely hot summer we’ve had in Europe that just made running so much more difficult and less enjoyable. With the cooler mornings and evenings now I’ve managed to get some long (slow) runs in & I’m at least somewhat confident of finishing Berlin next weekend.
Unlike my last couple of marathons I really plan to savour every moment of this. Slow and steady. Stopping to drink at every station. Not rushing or worrying about every second. Just savouring the crowd and the experience.
"...it can feel a little like crossing a really long bridge. We’ve left the place where we started behind, and when we look back, it recedes further and further from view. But we still can’t yet see the endpoint yet, because it’s clouded by fog; it’s still too far ahead for us to visualize it clearly just yet." - You wrote this about training for a run yet you have described how I feel about my current work-in-progress. That dance we do with ourselves can be so difficult. It's hard to resist feeling discouraged. But the one thing that helps is just keeping moving. Even if the words that result are mostly going to be thrown away.
Sad but true. Most of us take “time” for granted . Ben Franklin said “time is the precious stuff of life” or words to that effect. Once we come to grips with the “finite” time we have left, it can become a game changer. Oh, most of us wake up so late in life... so my friend, stay in shape because the time to keep getting back in shape can be better spent elsewhere❗️
As I read this post, it was like you read my mind. Not too long ago (maybe longer than I care to admit) running 8 on a Saturday was a “short” weekend run. Now it seems daunting. I ran my 8 Saturday and felt like it was a huge endeavor but the thought of miles ahead cause anxiety and worry that I don’t have it on me any longer. And what does that mean for how I’ve defined myself for a long time?
Just remember that in the end, enjoy the run. Period. Don’t worry about pace, what place you make, etc...Enjoy. The. Run. I stopped loving the sport when I started worrying about pace and injuries. It just took a toll on me and I hate that because I am very hard on myself by nature. I remind myself to enjoy the run I’m in and be grateful that I am still able! Some cannot and that huge! It’s a gift and we need to remember that 💕
As an over 60 year old runner (yikes) who suffers from lack of motivation (awww) and body images issues (sad), I really enjoyed this post. I did my first 7k yesterday as part of a plan for a 10k run soon (scary I know). I find the middle part of my run just awful with the devil on one shoulder shouting ‘stop’ and the angel on the other saying ‘you can do this’ - so your writing really helped. Thank you
Congratulations on the 18. Shooting for a 30K in January myself. As for the mindset I owe that to the real life runners podcast. Been around for about 6 years so lots of availability of episodes on mindset. All the best!
I'm not a runner but the quote that you pulled out in notes resonated with me...
*I’m not sure whether I like this feeling or not. I experience a nervousness with it, a bit of anxiety that (maybe?) helps me find the motivation to dig down into myself, to find out if I can do this or not? But it can just as easily serve as a STOP sign in my mind, holding me back from putting my full energy into it.*
Here's why. After years... Decades... A lifetime... Of searching for my calling, two years ago I found it with a clarity and a surety that I had never experienced before.
One would think that that would lead only to Joy, but every once in a while... today for example, which is why that quote jumped out at me... I have this curious uneasy sense of existential uneasiness, shall we say, that I can't put my finger on. I'm not entirely sure what it's related to. To. It might indeed be a fear of not being able to do justice to this thing that has swept over my life and completely rearranged things. Or it might just be the existential dread of commitment. I don't know what it is. But your piece captured it beautifully.
My runs this weekend were a microcosm of the high's and low's we experience riding the emotional roller coaster that comes along with running.
I'm training for my first marathon and I ran 20 for the first time on Friday night. It was a disaster and I was questioning everything: my fueling strategy, why I was so 'slow,' why I wasn't as mentally locked in as I had been. How could I run 20 for the first time and come away disappointed?
I rested on Saturday and I woke up Sunday refreshed and ready to go. I had a 45 min run (which typically totals around 4.5 miles for me) on the calendar and I got stronger by the mile, I was about a minute per mile faster than I was Friday, and I just felt zoned in.
This is why I love running so much. There are hard days, there are great days, and sometimes they can happen within the same 24-48 hour time span, all while pushing physical and mental boundaries I never thought I could move.
As for the weather? It's been in the 50's the last few mornings I've gone out for a run. PERFECT!