My friend Molly has posted these words to Facebook a couple times recently. It’s exactly what I’ve been thinking. This was my first full week in full-on training mode. In the scheme of things, it wasn’t much, 16.5 miles, but I’m exhausted. And happy. The week provided me with a consistency in exercise that I will need to maintain for the rest of the year. Wow, that sounds daunting.
The key for me is consistency. And a commitment to running and maintaining a healthy lifestyle that will help get me across that NYCM finish line in November. I’ve also made a commitment to myself to get physically stronger. Enter yoga. For anyone who still thinks yoga is just a stretching activity, or isn’t for athletes, or isn’t for you for whatever reason, I challenge you to rethink your position. Soon I’ll dedicate an entire post to yoga. In the meantime, I encourage you to give a gentle yoga class a try. You may be surprised at the benefits you receive.
I started the advanced yoga class at Wilson’s Yoga Studio in Jefferson City a couple of weeks ago. I do the supplemental, and gentler, yoga class on Sundays at the ARC in Columbia so that I only have to stay late in Jefferson City one night per week.
So this week was a test. Start slow and reasonable, but start. And keep doing it. Consistency and commitment. They’re just words. But you know, they have meaning. They have meaning in many aspects of my life. In running, they bubble to the top of all the other words. If I can keep them at the top of the caldron, I will brew up something good. Something fierce. Something strong. I know this. It is SO hard. It may seem trivial, but part of the consistency is my desire to always have my bag packed before I go to bed. That way, I’m always ready to run or go to a yoga class, and I don’t have to worry about it in the mornings. I am the *worst* morning person. Can I be fierce and still be a terrible morning person? 🙂 Ugh.
The training at the moment is technically for the Illinois half marathon I’m running at the end of April, but it’s all on the road to New York. While it doesn’t officially count as “this week,” last Saturday we ran a 5 mile loop in Stevens Lake Park. It’s a nice concrete path that has some decent hills that by then was only wet, not icy. (Gah, this weather!) Then Sunday: Yoga (gentle/beginner); Monday: Rest; Tuesday: Yoga (kick ass advanced); Wednesday: Run; Thursday: Rest; Friday: Run; Saturday: Run; Sunday: Run.
Sunday afternoon: collapse into a worthless heap on the couch? 🙂 And it wasn’t even that many miles! I did not collapse, but rather topped off the week’s work with some wine at Cooper’s Oak Winery in Boonville (our winter weather winery… Les Bourgeois should be open in April). Consistency! I’m off to my gentle yoga class in a bit. Honestly, I was wiped out by Wednesday. Friday’s run was something I called a big bucket of suck. Saturday’s run was better, but it took me a long time to relax, and it was still mostly a struggle. Today’s run was even better. The first three miles were rough, but the good thing about running from the Boonville trailhead (i.e. the broken rib trailhead) is that it is downhill coming back. Just wait until I hit those 50 mile weeks. Phew. Wears me slick just thinking about it. Mikaela Schiffrin, gold medalist in the Olympic women’s slalom, said something recently that I thought was very insightful. She said in all her training, she finally learned to enjoy the hard work. I am trying to get there.
Weeks won’t always look exactly like this. There will always be some variation, or some days I just can’t make any form of exercise work. But the keys to feeling good at that finish line are consistency and commitment. The keys to being fit, and fierce, and strong are consistency and commitment. I must do the hard work, and I want to enjoy the journey. It has begun and I couldn’t be more ready.