Sunday, August 1, 2010

It's all about perspective

After my 6 mile run this morning, I can officially close the book on week 5 of my training. It was another amazing long run. I felt incredible from beginning to end, which is actually pretty unusual for me. I generally spend the first 2 miles of my run trying to settle down and stop thinking about how much it hurts. Today though, even those first miles felt like smooth sailing. It's been a bit of a roller coaster week, with some highs and a VERY definite low. My 4 mile run on Monday was certainly my lowest point, not just this week, but of training so far. I woke up late, my kids slept late, and I really wanted to go back to bed. But, not wanting to deal with the inevitable guilt I would feel later if I skipped my run, I forced myself to just put on my big girl panties and do it. Oh, so unwise. I should have listened to my body telling me it needed a break after a hard lower body strength workout on Thursday, 4 miles with the stroller on Friday, and 5.6 on Sunday. It was one of the worst runs I have ever had. I was miserable from beginning to end. It was insanely windy and pushing the stroller felt like running with my hands braced against a brick wall. For the first time in a long time, I was in a worse mood after a run than I was before. Not a great way to start my day or my week. Lesson learned though. I will be taking Mondays off from now on after my long run on Sunday, and moving my training runs to Wednesday and Friday.

Once I crawled out of my hole of self-pity, my week did improve. I had weigh-ins at bootcamp, which, generally, would fall into the "low point" category, but I lost 7 lbs this month and am feeling quite pleased with myself about it. Now, I understand that, compared to some people, 7 lbs may not sound like much, but it's all about perspective. I could have lost no weight at all. I could have gained like I did the two months prior to July. So, given that information, I'll take my 7lbs and celebrate it, thank you very much.

Perspective is something I like to ponder and quite a bit, and I was thinking about how it applies to my running this morning. I woke up to a cloudy, drizzly kind of day. Normally, that might not be a reason to rejoice. From the perspective of someone about to go out and run 6 miles, however, I was dancing a happy little jig because it meant I would have a nice, cool run without the sun beating down on me the entire time. Hooray for perspective! Then during my run, at around mile 4 when I realized just how good I felt, I started looking back at how my perspective on running has evolved since I first started. In December, running one mile without stopping was a big deal, and I was proud when I accomplished it. By the time I ran my first 5K in February, I was running 3 miles as my daily run, when just 3 months ago that would have been almost impossible for me. I wasn't even thinking of it as a long run anymore. My perspective had changed. Now, my perspective has changed again. While my "long run" this week was 6 miles, it didn't actually feel long to me. Back in January, if you had told me I would be doing a 6 mile run and wanting to go longer, it probably would have made me shoot whatever beverage I was drinking out my nose. Now, I can't imagine NOT doing it. My overall fitness and health has grown in leaps and bounds since then, but, just as importantly, my perspective on running has improved too. What seemed impossible is now normal for me, and I cannot wait to continue increasing my mileage and challenging myself. See? It really is all about perspective!

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