Training Without a Goal Equals Random Length Runs and Mild Confusion

Sometimes we do things and then realize how silly we are, right?  Such as running only once (maybe twice) a week while “training” for a 20 mile race…

Apparently, (according to my most recent history of recorded runs in the months of February, March and April) I no longer feel that 20 miles is a huge challenge.  I know if I stay hydrated and bring enough nutrition, I’ll be fine.  My legs will carry me over the distance.  Sure, I’ll be a little tired and sore for a couple of days, but that’s true after any hard workout (including yoga). So, while watching each day of the week pass, the only real training I was doing was in the form of a long run on Saturdays, which is fortunately coordinated by a dear friend, and I love catching up with the girls on the weekend, so I make it a point to attend.  During the week I got out once, maybe twice for two to six miles.  My total weekly mileage may have reached (almost) 35 miles (only on one week of training – and that included a 19 mile Saturday run).

What happened to my drive?  And the clarity I felt when preparing for my first 50k? At that point in time, my only concern was being able to accomplish that goal – to finish running 31.8 miles without injury.  And I trained hard.  I got out for every single run in my training plan. And now what? I had a race planned; a goal with a date printed in ink on my calendar, why was I unable to motivate myself to get running in a way that would have helped me complete this challenge more efficiently?

Maybe it was the distance20 miles is an odd number. I don’t know if there exists a training plan for races between half marathon and marathon distance. (…This feels like a terrible excuse – cancel that). Whatever the case may be, I am changing my strategy.  It’s time to get races on the calendar, and to plan my workouts – because not only do I want to be better prepared and efficient during my next race, I want to be better at running. Stronger, maybe even faster.

Fortunately, despite my lack of training or strategy, The Peterson Ridge Rumble went well. The weather was great, and although the terrain was primarily dry, dusty, and rocky, I was able to get a few good shots:

The beginning of the race started with a mob of runners on a rapidly narrowing trail.
Sun shining down in the cool morning air.
Some very tall trees.
This is the first time I have let someone take a picture of me during a race. I think that is Black Butte directly over my head.
Loved that giant, rocky protrusion.
This snag stood out with her bright red wood.
Rocky Trails
Not sure how this little guy got here… not super friendly, is he?
The only water seen on the entire 20 mile trek. Very close to the beginning/end of the race.
Best shot of the mountains. They look so much farther away through a camera lens!

Ultimately, I have learned that I need to plan ahead in order to meet any training goals.  I was able to finish the race a bit faster than I expected, in 4:15 by my watch (4:20 by the website – I stopped for at least 5 minutes for picture-taking in the first half, and toward the end of the race, I just let the clock keep running. Ah the life of an iPhoneographer runner).

Tomorrow evening I intend to do some research, detail which races I will sign up for and run for the rest of the year, and create a running/workout schedule to follow.

Because – speed. And consistency. And all good things that putting energy and focus into something you love will do to improve your results.

Now, I would love to hear your “ah, hah” moment.

Have you ever realized you were not doing yourself any favors by cutting  yourself slack while training? (0h, boy!)
And what did you do once you came do that conclusion?

Do you have a favorite weekly workout schedule?

I am strongly considering running long on both Saturday and Sunday – I just love getting out for a while on my day off – it feels so good to spend time out enjoying my run without the rush of “I have to get to work” or “I need to get home and cook dinner” clouding my brain.  What are your thoughts on doubling up on the weekend? 

I hope you all have a fantastic weekend run! (I’m getting out tomorrow!)

with joy,

Cause for Pause

Every so often, in a fleeting moment, a thought or idea will strike and send our mind spinning.

Today was such a day, while minding my business, doing my job at the 9-5, I was suddenly reeling due to an epiphany.

In the past few months, I feel that I have finally started to hit my stride (pun intended) not only in my  running pursuits, but also in my extra-curricular life – goals and desires that I aim to meet, to please me.  Reduce stress, run, read, make time for creativity, finish abandoned projects, and pursue my heart’s happiness and desires.

Tonight, I finished putting a lamp together that I purchased a few months ago.  Wednesday, I finished crocheting a blanket that I started in college… many years ago.  But today, when frustration was clouding my brain, wondering why it is that I’m not getting what I want out of my career, I had a sudden realization.  I am not putting energy into what I want.  I am putting energy into what I think others will want from me.  Of course I’m not attracting what I want!  I am not actively pursuing it!

I immediately realized I needed to take responsibility for my career momentum and put it back into my own hands.  I know what I need to do, but not necessarily how to proceed.  Sometimes the most difficult part of the process is just taking that first step, not knowing whether you are at the edge of a precipice above a canyon and sure demise, or above a clean lake on a hot day, refreshingly cool and welcome when you finally make that jump.

So here I am, at my computer screen, typing away at the blog where I have become a runner, a writer, and where I get to share myself with the unknown.  And hopefully, put something positive out into the world, attracting more of that good to me.

My new plan of attack?  I am going to make a schedule for myself after work hours.  I schedule each hour down to the minute while I am at work, why am I not as structured in my own time?  I need to plan time to do the things that bring me joy.  So, my friends, you can expect to hear more from me (as this writing brings me great happiness), and not just about running (although, recently I was advised that everything is related to running – thanks, Grampa!).  I plan to share my insights, learnings, musings, and goal achievements with you.  In part, I do this to keep myself accountable (such as the 2 for 20 for 22 Post did for my running habit), but I also would like to encourage you to share your battles, wins, and lessons learned.

How do you attract your dreams into reality? 

What challenges have you recently overcome?