Monday, July 6, 2015

Four on the Fourth: race day recap

Pre-race: waking up to a lovely Raleigh sunrise and vibrant neighborhood flowers

Four on the Fourth was my first race "back" after many months of low motivation and a lack of enthusiasm. Based on my track workouts in the last few weeks, I felt like I could actually give a solid race effort, so I gave it a go...

The race was decently sized (600 people) so I never had to run solo, which was REALLY nice. I started out conservatively knowing that the second half of the race was mostly uphill. I watched a group of women take off ahead of me and I sat back and waited...


Mile 1: 6:12 (downhill)
Mile 2: 6:21

At mile 2.5-ish, I decided it was time to start making my move forward and pass some ladies. I pushed the pace slightly and tried to increase my effort (although my actual speed wasn't necessarily increasing because, ya know, hills). Thankfully, I had some cheerleaders on the course that gave me an extra boost during this time too!

Mile 3: 6:21

My favorite part of the race was right in the last 1/2 mile. I was definitely in pain and doing my best to reel in the 1st place woman. I pulled up along some guy who could clearly tell I was trying to catch 1st place.. He ran next to me/ cheered for me/ encouraged me during this last half mile, helping me close down the gap. I couldn't find a final gear to pull ahead of her, but either way I was so grateful to have a random stranger help me push in the final stretch of the race. This is why running is the best.

Mile 4: 6:18

All things considered, I was really happy with this race...because I was RACING. The effort was refreshing. 2nd place female + homemade pottery and locally roasted coffee were a big bonus!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Back in the saddle

My running thus far in 2015 has been less than stellar, to say the least! I have only raced a couple times, not due to injury or other unforeseen circumstances.  Mostly, I have been plagued by low motivation, which has honestly never been an issue for me.

Looking back on the last 6-ish months, my main struggles have been:

1. No big goal races, so no real need to crush out hard workouts week after week

2. Changes in my schedule that made my running a little more inconsistent and erratic

3. Less willingness to run by myself when I didn't feel like running

...yeah, not the best reasons.

BUT, I feel like I'm back on track and finally feeling like my old, motivated self.

What changed?

1. The beginning of summer is here. That means that marathon season is approaching and I  better start getting my head in the game!

2. Found a fun 5k training plan that is giving me some much needed structure (aka telling me what to do)

3. Feeling okay with pounding out more miles alone (although I much prefer my running buddies)

How do you get back on track after you've lost motivation?

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Motivation low? Be a beginner again!

This winter has been a tough one for me. I imagine I’m suffering from the typical ‘I achieved a big goal and now my brain needs a break’ type of lapse (thanks to Richmond). Winter is not helping. As a tried and true morning person, the darkness wears on me.

So I’m being a beginner again. No, not at running…I can’t go back at this point! At SWIMMING, which I have never been especially good at. In fact, just the thought of swimming a couple months ago would have triggered cringes and scrunchy-faces. Thankfully, I have a swimming buddy who has far superior skill and is willing to teach me new techniques and improve my basic form. 

To be a beginner again is so refreshing! I can see weekly progress (unlike running where I’m just holding steady or sliding backward right now) and every workout is novel. Also, and very importantly, it doesn't matter a lick what the weather is doing.With this new found enjoyment, I’m feeling ambitious enough to sign up for some triathlons this summer, or at least an open water swim or two! It will be a fun, new adventure!

So if you too are struggling under the oppressive hand of winter, go to the gym and try a new fitness class, grind on a spin bike, jump in the pool, whatever is new and different for you and try being a beginner again!