Sunday, March 9, 2014

Every. Damn. Day.

I can across this little gem recently and its spurred me to some serious action.

The language is simple.  Albeit harsh, but to the point and uncomplicated at that.  Given my recent shift off of the tri training horse and back into the saddle of the marathon running horse, I've been thinking.  I've been thinking about my running goals and my marathon goals.  I've had the same one year running goal for 4 years now.  4 years.  Recall:


And so I run a marathon; and I don't make it sub 3.  I'm at ease with not making it...really and truly I am.  I've had a few good kicks at it and haven't gotten there.  I'm still a decent amount of time away at 3:07.  7 minutes is a long time when you're out there on the marathon course.  As a matter of fact, this 7 minutes represents one mile of running for me and a slow one in truth; the pace for a sub 3 is decently faster than a 7 minute mile!  Not making it more than once has taught me so many important lessons about myself.  A couple I'll share here:

One. I set BHAGs.  Big. Hairy. Audacious. Goals.  How I know this is because I haven't made it.  Despite all the running and the yoga and the strength work and the speed work, I STILL haven't made it.  While I don't measure my success as a runner or as a human solely on the basis of this one time standard, it's still important to me.  What I do know is that I'm truly and honestly pushing myself to go big because it certainly has not come easily.  Life is so short.  I'd rather play big.  Period.  Even if it means one of my one year goals lasts far longer than one year.

Two. I am resilient.  I have failed.  Yes.  I have tried and tired harder and still failed.  Truth.  But I also know it doesn't define me.  That I will get it, and when I do, it will be a snapshot in time that I cherish based on how I will FEEL.  And that keeps me running.  It keeps my feet in shoes and my shoes on pavement.  No matter how many times it hasn't happened.

And now, because I mentioned action, let's get to it.

My attempts and re-attempts to hit this goal have always been hyper focused on running.  More speed work and less miles.  More miles and less speed work.  More speed work within more miles.  Following a more structured program with a coach.  Following a less structured training plan on my own.  Running a 26.2 mile road race definitely requires focus and training and there is certainly no shortage of information out in the world (human AND digital) to support a training plan.  The shifts I've made have ALWAYS focused on the running piece. 

And so, in the spirit of the journey and the practice of running, I'm shifting my focus.  I'm starting to look at my training in a more holistic sense.  What does this mean?  It means for me, that I'm considering how I'm fuelling this runners body.  My inner chatter used to tell me that I could eat whatever the sam hell I wanted BECAUSE I ran for miles and miles and miles.  And now, I am looking at the food and nutrition I ingest as a means to an end.  A way to stay healthy, a way to aid recovery and a way to honour this body that does crazy shit for me whenever I ask it to. 

Here it is in simple language:

I eat healthy, nutritious and whole foods that fuel and heal my body every day.

Note: no sugar.  no candy.  no processed bullshit.  I'm two weeks in and feeling fantastic.

As well, I'm focusing on the rest and recovery piece.  Pushing your body through this kind of training requires that you LISTEN to what it needs.  Sometimes, my body is screaming at me to rest: joints aching, chest hurting, exhausted all the time screaming.  Sleep often eludes me and, to be real, is a required part of training.  My body can't heal if my body doesn't rest.

Again in simple language:

I sleep 8 hours 4 times per week.

Note: no emails, social media or cell phone 1 hour before bed.  No emails, social media or cell phone until I have been awake for 1 hour.  I made it the first week.  The second week, I made it 8 hours for 2 days and 7 hours for 2 days.  I'm sleeping better and feel less scattered.  A small victory.

Food. Nutrition. Sleep. Rest.  Will it work?  Only the Marathon Gods know.  What I can tell you is that the journey is the part of this that I honour the most.  I will approach it like a learner and will appreciate every damn moment.


Do I want it?  Yes.
Did I write that shit down? Yep.
Can this be considered a fucking plan?  I believe so (just so my hard core running friends know- I have not lost it; there is still a running/training plan too).
And I'm working on it. Every. Single. Damn. Day.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I love this Andrea! You are so right, rest and recovery are essential parts of training and often are overlooked. Have you read Finding Ultra? some good points in there about recovery and nutrition. Also, Eat & Run is a great read!

All the best from Regina!