Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Harder I Work - The Better I Get

The best part about running is that it's the gift that keeps giving.

Running in itself is a gift. I'm thankful to be healthy and have two strong legs that can carry me through as many miles as I make them.

Sometimes my legs hurt and sometimes they're sore, but I am able to run, and that is the greatest gift of all.

I've learned so much about myself as I've tacked on the miles week after week, month after month.

I've learned to persevere when I want to quit. I've learned that pain is temporary. I've learned that running never gets easier, I've just learned how to tolerate it better. I've learned that hard work will always produce results. I've learned that I'm so much more than I thought I could be. I've learned to believe in myself. I've learned that the sky is the limit. I've learned that I can achieve anything as long as I work for it.

The lessons I've learned in running are ones that I can equally apply to my life.

Running has become more than a weekly mileage goal - it's a way of life.

It keeps me sane. It makes me happy. And in turn - I'm a better person for it.

Plus - the more I do it, the faster I get, which is pretty fun :)

This past Sunday, I went for a long run of 7 miles.

My calves were tight and didn't feel to "springy." I told myself that I was just going to run by feel and not look at my pace.

Holy moly, does anyone else see mile 1's pace? 7:36??

I had no idea I ran this fast until I uploaded my workout. I quickly bragged to Justin! He was equally impressed. We both didn't know I had it in me ha.

I for sure thought I was slow poking it in the 9 minute range. This would explain why the middle miles lost their juice.

I generally don't run for time. I rarely look at my Garmin during my runs, and just run by feel because that's how I enjoy running the most. It's so much more fun to me when I'm not stressing over my pace and just enjoying the moment.

However, as much as I enjoy running by feel, I do have goals in my head about how fast I'd like to run. It's been very rewarding to see my pace improve by about a minute per mile over the past 8-9 months.

When I first started running on a regular basis back in late February, I was running a 9:40 to 9:30 pace. Now I'm running in the 8:40 range. Woohoo!!

Here are a few inspirational running quotes that I identify with most:

I've learned that I associate running with my best self. When I go through a dry spell, not training, it indicates that the rest of my life is a little messy or worn down. Running strips away something like what Virginia Woolf called "the cotton wool of everyday life" so that there is nothing between my intimate insides and the air and light and landscape unfurling under my sneaker treads. It's release through motion.
- Amanda Gladin-Kramer, Runner's World reader

There is something magical about running; after a certain distance, it transcends the body. Then a bit further, it transcends the mind. A bit further yet, and what you have before you, laid bare, is the soul.
- Kristin Armstrong, Mile Markers blog at Runner's

In the end I have to hold myself accountable. It is my career and my responsibility to do what I need to do to be the best I can be. I had to make a change if I really wanted to reach the goals I had set for myself. I had to get out of being comfortable and get into a situation that was going to really push me.
- Kara Goucher on joining the Oregon Track Club Elite group

The quotes say it best.


How do you feel about running? Is there a particular exercise that makes you feel similarly?


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