Wednesday, 20 October 2010

No better reason...

Coming off my record long run on Sunday, this week has looked like this so far:

Monday - 2 hours tennis
Tuesday - 6km easy run and light core work
Wednesday - 20 min cycle and core/strength work

i can't quite decide what this week is supposed to be. I haven't followed the 3 weeks hard, 1 week easy rule as closely as I had originally intended (it's been more like alternating weeks - Will that affect my HM performance?!?!!), so I can do pretty much anything I like. Having said that, this will likely be an 'easy' given the Super Typhoon (yes, officially, Super) coming our way this weekend which does not bode well for outdoor activities of any kind.

I'll keep this short. I mainly wanted to share a fantastic article that Kristen Armstrong has written. If you ever wonder what it's all about, why you bother, what joyfulness truly is - you'll find some answers here.

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Personal Bests...

In life and in running, you would like to think that we will touch PBs every now and again. After all, motivation is about making progress... and progress is about stretching to reach those goals, whatever they may be in our lives today.

So I have a couple to share:
1) Long run PB
Yesterday I ran for 1 hour and 52 minutes. I didn't cover too much distance (probably around 14km) but as 'time on feet' goes, I did well. I eventually need to get myself up to 2hrs 15 mins in the next few weeks before tapering down in November. So lucky girl, I will be PB'ing quite a bit in the next few weeks! :)

2) 10km race PB
New Balance Tai Mei Tuk 10k on 10th Oct 2010
I made it in 53:51 (official chip time)/53:57 (personal Garmin time)! 9 minutes faster than my 10k race time in November last year.
How's that for progress - 2008 10k race (slept in and didn't even bother turning up), 2009 10k race (1:03) and 2010 10k race (under 54 mins)!!! What about 2011?!!

I was so nervous and I wanted so much to do well. I did everything 'right' - had pasta for dinner, slept reasonably well, packed and prepared the day before etc. But my nerves made me a bit of a grump on race morning and I found it hard to enjoy myself. It turned out a very 'serious' race... my breathing was harsh, I was pushing quite hard, I felt mildly sick at times... but I made it and surpassed my own expectations!
It's a journey of discovery - learning to toe the fine balance between being focused and goal-oriented, and being relaxed and accepting. While my nerves did not (as far as I can tell) adversely affect my performance, it did not help my enjoyment of my day or of the achievement. It is not wise to get sucked into the spiral of goals and expectations if it leads into performance anxiety and fear.
So Big Pat on the Back, Gen! Carry that confidence over the next few weeks as training ramps up for that final peak before taper. Six and a half weeks to go! I want to be happy on the morning of my first HM, I want to feel excited and open to the day's joys. In fact, I want to have, no, live that attitude more than I need to do a 2 or 2:10 HM.

I love running and racing so much because it's like life. Every PB is backed by hour upon hour of training, by daily decisions ( go for a run or just take a nap?), by the extra core/strength work, by giving up that night out or greasy meal. But every PB takes you a little further than you ever thought you could, teaches you of your potential and all the possibility that lies in store for you. It's about choices, daily dedication, patience, about having a long term plan and trusting the process to get you there even though you cannot quite see the end.

And this is the great equaliser - it's all the same, for you and for me and for every person in this world. No matter how it looks or what the end goal might be, to be a better person (physically, emotionally, spiritually), the power is in your hands. But have faith, be patient and make your choice in every moment of every day. If you want to have an open relationship with a difficult parent, then don't change the subject when a touchy topic comes up but sit with your discomfort and answer with grace. If you want to stop smoking, just focus on saying no to the next cigarette and don't worry about what comes after that. If you want to run your own business, then figure out What and How and take the first step in front of you. If you want to run an ultra marathon, then get out and do your first 10 minute run right now. We live now and the choice is now, so make the right decision and the future will take care of itself. The 2 things that ever stopped people from getting to where they want to is (1) not moving, (2) choosing to go in a different direction!