Week 7 and Day 1 is in the books and I did it! This week was the transition from run/walk to straight running – running for 20 minutes non-stop and I’ve been apprehensive about it since the beginning. It’s been so long. I firmly remember my first non-stop mile and a half around the track at the park and remember the first nonstop hour of running …but ….that was 20 years ago! The 2nd marathon I did 10 years ago was more of a “prove it to myself” sort of thing – zero training, signed up two days before the run and just wanted to see if I could still cover the distance even if only walking which, I did.
Non-stop running …Wow – well, …here is how I got it done today;
I told myself two things. The first thing I told myself while I was still in my car. I said, “Everything you need to succeed is already inside you”. I then made a playlist with some songs that I thought might help me through the 20 minute prescribed run.
I took off and literally within the first quarter mile of the run I wanted to stop …felt like stopping, wasn’t overly confident that I could pull it off but …kept going. about 1/2 mile into the run I said “force yourself to do the scary” i know that sounds weird but that’s how it came out. The scary part was pretty much all mental. For me, a big part of my success this year has been based on keeping my mind calm. This put me into another dichotomy of sorts since on one hand I wanted music that was upbeat and would jazz me up, so to speak and on the other hand, I wanted a calm mind and didn’t want to freak out while venturing into new territory. For the first mile or so I kept the music but turned it down to about half volume.
Something else I did that was a bit different was to not look at my Sports Tracker or NikePlus running apps. I figured seeing the time or how much time I had left would only dissuade me from keeping a calm mind so I didn’t look at those apps at all, only my music. I figured each song at about 3 minutes and concluded 6 songs at 3 minutes each would take me through 18 minutes of running, knowing darn well in the back of my mind that many of the songs were over 3 minutes long and six songs total should take me through my entire run. I know I jumped to a song by Ke$ha by the end of the first mile to get something upbeat. I already had a path picked out in my head and it was designed to minimize hills, I wanted as flat as possible. I’d already been practicing shortening my stride when going uphill and I remembered to do that on the few inclines I did encounter.
When I was getting towards the end I kept getting tempted to look at my phone, I had some fantasies going in my head of maybe running 26 minutes non-stop without realizing it but…. I was very much aware of what was going on so reality kept the fantasy in check. When I finally decided pulled up my running app I was thinking that if it was at 18 or so that I could hold out for another 2 minutes to get the job done. When I did pull it out and looked – I was right at 20 minutes! when I finally hit stop and end, I had a final time of 20:04 and was absolutely ecstatic! I wanted to shout out loud and throw my fist in the air like Rocky! I did the fist thing but refrained from the shouting 😉
By the time I walked back to my car and then to a picnic table to post my run on Instagram and Foursquare and text my brother, I was feeling absolutely amazing. I can’t remember the last time I physically felt so good. It was starkly different than how I normally feel and I’m a pretty happy person to begin with but this felt absolutely vibrant! 🙂
That’s about it for today’s run. It was amazing. I had some mental games ready in my head from the day before but pretty much forgot about them all and improvised the new stuff I mentioned.
Oh – something else I’ve been pondering that I learned at one of the lectures given at the Nashville, TN half marathon expo was that one of the guys mentioned some elite runner from the UK and said if she can take an ice bath after her runs then maybe those of us in the audience could at least get a frozen bag of peas to put on our thighs or knees after our runs. Since I want to recover the best I can I took his advice. I didn’t use ice but did run a bath with nothing but cold water. Not the funnest thing to step into but it wasn’t all that bad either. I sat in that tub for a full 10 minutes. The water wasn’t deep enough to fully cover my thighs but it did cover the calves completely and figured it was good enough for my first attempt.
I’ve also noticed some shape changes in my physique. On the way home I was noticing a bit more definition around my …i guess it’s the vastus rectus thigh muscle, that tear drop shaped muscle on the inside of our thigh, proximal to the knee. I also started to notice some indentations – a precursor to definition, I’m thinking, in my abdominal areas, specifically around the outline of where one might find a six pack …like I said, just indentation under a layer of fat but, a welcomed & positive change non-the-less.
I like the quote by Larson about Pride and Faith and I think it goes well with the question posed next to it. If we do not feel grateful for what we already have, what makes us think we’d be happy with more?
I think these are good concepts to fully embrace. Being able to take pride in how far we have come and embrace our efforts and the results from those efforts as something good is almost a key to helping us unlock the faith in a positive future.
If we can’t be grateful for what we already have then that may define us as the type of person who is not grateful and if we are not grateful to begin with then the question is very valid …what makes us think we’d be happy with more.
However, a person who is already grateful already possesses the propensity for appreciating even more abundance and good fortune into their lives.
I’m proud of how far I’ve come. I’ve undone a lot of damage that resulted especially from the 2nd half of last year when clinic was an open to close, 6 day per week job along with that lovely 2+ hour commute each day. I knew what happened the first time I attempted to get through clinic, I ballooned up to 302 pounds. My weight came down when I decided, with my advisors, to first finish all my class work then tackle clinic. I watched my weight go up. I knew without doing anything about it that my weight would continue to climb but, didn’t really care to do anything about it. I was pushing 6 years in chiropractic school at that time (first 8 months were for some chemistry prerequisites) but it was still a very long time to be stressed and pushing ones self. It paid off and I did finally graduate. Something that only happens after 15 semesters with only about 4 out of 5 people that start the program. but, check out the pictures below. The first one was taken on January 13th of this year and the second one was taken about 10 minutes ago.
that’s a drop of 60 pounds. That’s quite a difference.
and physically, I spent the first 3 months of the year just building myself up to walking a total of 5 miles per day.
Those first 3 or 4 months represented the first week of this current 26 week training program I found. I still remember the first run/walk workout. I remember jogs of 10 seconds at a time with a 4 minute and 50 second break before I attempted the next 15 or so seconds worth of jogging. I kind of want to point those first very humble jogging times in case anybody is reading this that might just be starting out or overweight or scared to let them know a beginning of even 10 seconds worth of jogging can be a seed that can sprout into so much more.
But, even more humbling than only jogging 10 seconds is the memory (which I believe I did blog about) that there was …I guess you could describe it as a bit of a fear to transition from walking into any type of running or jogging. I just wasn’t used to it. I honestly had concerns that I might break something. I was concerned that I might snap a tendon or a ligament might break under the stress of running.
I was 316 on January 13th and I’m going to complete a marathon on November 1st down in Wynne, Arkansas. I’m going to keep getting lighter and stronger and faster and my endurance will continue to build. 🙂
(had to throw some positive affirmation stuff in there) 🙂