Repeat After Me

Slow and sucky is still better than nothing.

Slow and sucky is still better than nothing.

Slow and sucky is still better than nothing.

Slow and sucky is still better than nothing.

Running on Mondays

*Alarm goes off at 4AM*

$#&%^

*Hit the snooze button*

*Sleepily pet the cat (who’s been waiting an hour for you to wake up) ask myself if I really have to do this*

*Alarm goes off, again*

*Turn off the alarm, this time. Deep sigh, and check the weather conditions*

*Change into the running clothes. Let the dog out. Grab the running shoes. Try not to loathe the dog’s early morning cheerfulness*

*Grab the watch. Out the door. Wait for the GPS watch to find the signal. And I’m off*

*Do the work of run, walk, run, walk. Savor the dark, the playlist, and the early-morning solitude*

*Make my way back home feeling like I can conquer the world*

Now for the rest of the day.

***

The first day of my training week is Monday, which always seems to be the hardest day of the week to get out the door and run. Barring a few variations, the scene you read above will play out every Monday morning through the end of the year.

 

And yet, when I don’t cave in, it’s always worth it.

Day 1

Translation: never let the first mile determine what you think the rest of your run will be, especially for longer runs. It’s easy to have a stellar first mile only to fall apart in subsequent miles (been there). Conversely, it’s also possible to make your way through a crummy first mile only to “redeem” yourself later on in your run. It’s too early in the first mile to make any assumptions about what’s coming in mile two, mile twelve, or mile twenty. The solution: worry about whatever moment you’re in.

By extension, I’d say the same applies to the beginning of race training. This morning was my first training run for Rock N Roll Dublin, and all things considered, it wasn’t a bad run. In fact, there were plenty of elements that bode well for the rest of training. It’d be really easy to assume that the rest of this week (or even the rest of training) is going to go well. And yet, the fact remains it’s just too early to say how this training cycle or this race will or won’t go.

So what’s the moral of the story on day 1 of race training? Don’t get ahead of yourself. Work and run in this moment.

(Photo from the Rock N Roll Marathon Race Series Pinterest feed)

Why Running

“Why run?” Sometimes the question comes from a place of genuine curiosity. Sometimes it’s from awe. And sometimes it’s from sheer incredulity. But, regardless of the impetus, it’s the inevitable question that comes to the surface when people find out I’m a runner. And even if they don’t ask the question out loud, I can still see it lingering in their eyes: why on earth would you choose to run?

 

The first time I chose to run, I was 19 years old and nursing a broken heart. What better way to distract yourself than pounding the pavement…in South Carolina…during the summer? It definitely wasn’t pretty, but it provided the perfect distraction to let my heart heal. And in the meantime, I got to discover a new hobby that would come to shape so much of who I am.

 

These days, I’m long past the broken heart that started it all, but I’m still running. Why? Good question! I run because I need a challenge. I run because I love discovering what I can do. I run because I’m a much better person than when I don’t run. I run because it lets me forget about everything for a while.

 

I run because the world looks a little different when you run by it. I run because there’s nothing quite like it. And I run because, most of the time, it’s pretty fun.

 

Now to wind down and gear up for the first day of race training, tomorrow.

7 Days Out

The first race on my schedule is the Rock N Roll Dublin Half Marathon in August. And training starts next week. 7 days out from training, I haven’t been running all that much, but I’ve gotten a little bit better about hitting the weights (cross training is key to improving my running performance). It’s helped solidify the habit for me, so it’ll be easier for me to stick with it once training kicks into higher gears.

With a week to go before training, part of me knows I should savor the time where getting up at 4 AM isn’t a necessity. And yet, I’m looking forward to getting back into training. The early mornings can be brutal, but I’m looking forward to running in the dark and the quiet, again. I’m looking forward to the rhythm of the schedule. I’m looking forward to the challenge of it all.

More than anything, I’m just looking forward to the chance to rise to the occasion, again, and show myself what’s possible.

And So It Begins…

If the first thing you do on payday is sign up for 2–yes, that’s right, 2–races, you might be a runner! 😉

This may not be the case for every single runner on the planet, it’s certainly true of this runner, today. I’ve signed up for the Trinity River Half Marathon and the BMW Dallas Marathon. Oh, and I’m already signed up to run the Rock N Roll Dublin Half Marathon this summer. Suffice it to say, things are about to get busy in my world as training kicks into gear.

My invitation to you is to come along for the ride that is race training and running. Follow along and find out what it means to be a runner. Come hang out and laugh with me and, see what running does for the rest of my life.

Come along. Have fun.

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