Tuesday, March 31, 2015

10k or Bust!

What are you doing on May 17?  I'm scheduled to run a 10k race with five of my high school girlfriends.  Part of it (the hanging out and drinking wine in the Napa valley part) I'm super excited about.  Part of it (the running 10 kilometers  part)....not so much. 

I like to call myself a runner, mostly because I've been doing it on and off for the past 12 years, so I feel like I've earned that privilege.  But I'm not really a medal-worthy runner.  Or a long-distance runner.  Or an elite athlete of any kind.  I'm more of a recreational, fair-weather runner. I love to run when it's 70 degrees and sunny.  Or maybe 60 degrees with a little cloud cover.  Two or three miles is my typical work out.  If I hit 8 miles in a week, it's an accomplishment.  A 10k is my own personal marathon. 

My running this winter wasn't super consistent.  I would run once or twice a week and labor through the entire thing.  Heavy breathing, sore hip, tired feet, unmotivated brain.  I was stopping for walk breaks far too often and working way to hard to catch my breath.  Running had never come easy for me, but lately it was feeling even more difficult than normal. 

I started to get frustrated.  I Googled "runners hip pain" and started doing strengthening exercises.  I threw in some hill work (up and down and up and down and up and down) into my routine.  (Not good for sore hips, by the way.) I incorporated short sprints into my runs and varied my tempo.  Still my time and my attitude were nowhere near where I wanted them to be. 

Last week I looked at the calendar and realized the race is two short months away.  It was time to start increasing my distance and get (sort of ) serious if I wanted to make it across the finish line.  I committed myself to running three times per week.

And what do you know?  Things got easier pretty fast. 

Turns out that if you want to get better at something there's really no shortcut.  You just have to practice and put in the time.  It's not rocket science.  I can't count how many times I've preached this sermon to my kids. And then promptly failed to apply the theory in my own life.  You would think by this point in my life I would get it. Actually, there are lots of lessons I try to teach my kids that I sometimes ignore.  Picking healthy choices for snacks.  Using kind words with our friends.  Don't waste all your time staring at a screen.  Pick up your stuff and put it where it belongs. 

So, just a little reminder friends....there are no quick fixes or easy ways to the top.  You have to decide what you want and go for it.  Put in the time, the sweat equity, the practice or the study.

And if that all fails, book a trip to the Napa valley.  Because even a rookie can drink fine wine like a champion. 

Class of 1991 drinking running team. 

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