Milena’s Top 5 Tips for Staying Motivated: #3: Buddy Up
Training and running with friends can definitely make working out much more fun. I can recall some really hard workouts I got through because my training partner at the time, Brian, would make up rap songs while we ran. Not only was he a lyrical gangster, but his support was key in helping me during some super intense training. So grab a friend and create your own rhymes as you continue to train for your next race. Friends are definitely a happy part of the journey.
Born this Way
Ibuprofen-4 dollars. Hot soup-3 dollars. New footsie pajamas-25 dollars. Taking a few days off from training because of cold-priceless. In the past I used to push through training when I was a little under the weather but the wiser, gentler me actually takes this time to step back, take a few days to completely recover and then go back to training a little fresher than before. This week when I was sick, I sat back one evening and actually took account of all that I ask my body to do in a typical day. I was pretty impressed, if I do say so myself, with the demands and tasks that I physically and mentally meet and achieve each day. Geeze, no wonder I need a little down time here and there. Now that I am working, I have to integrate my training with my work schedule and when my body calls for rest I have to listen. Sometimes I need to squeeze my run in during a 45 minute window between meetings or get up extra early so I can put in six or seven miles while most people’s alarms are still an hour from ringing. People always ask me what “drives” me to continue this journey. Many say “aren’t you too old to resume competitive running? Why don’t you just take it easy and run for fun?” I guess they just don’t understand the fact that, as Lady GaGa puts it, “Baby, I was born this way.” I was always the first one up in the morning at my household when I was growing up and I was the last to bed. I didn’t have hyper out of control energy, I just always knew what I wanted to do. At age five I ran a soccer jog-a-thon. It was about 90 degrees out that balmy summer day and everyone, including my parents, tried to get me to stop running. The heat didn’t bother me and I had no clue that the 20 continuous laps I ran around the high school dirt track was equal to five miles. Running was just always something I loved to do. So now when I need some time off I simply stop. I take a few days to regather and I know the recalibrating my body needs to do will happen and the next week will be a better week of training. And with a little over six months to go before the Hollywood Half, I know that I will be right back on track with training next week and my body will be healthy and rested. Not to mention I have a stellar pair of new footsie pajamas for the next time I need a few days off!
Clearing the Air
You know those runners whose minds go blank when they work out? The ones who say, “My head goes silent and I just concentrate on the road?” Well, I’m not one of them. If anything, I use the time to constructively work through the day’s events. For me, it’s cheap therapy. I go until I feel better, the problem is solved or I’m just too exhausted to worry about it anymore. So by the time the endorphin rush kicks in, I’m already halfway to Happy Land. Some of the best ideas of my life have come to me on long runs where I let my mind wander. The more there is to process, the faster the workout goes and the more refreshed I feel.
Adversely, I find when I “concentrate on the road” my workouts seem tedious and all-around unenjoyable. I become overly occupied with the click in my left knee, the tightness of my sport bra, my breathing, my pace and how much distance I should cover. I notice other runners on the road and feel compelled to compare our strides. To me, concentrating on the road is a lot like sitting at your desk on a Friday afternoon and watching the clock tick down to 5 o’clock. But I know this is what many do when they lace their running shoes.
No matter your preference: letting the miles fly by as you jam to your favorite tunes, periodically checking your watch as you pass pre-set road markers or letting the free time act as your therapist, there is no wrong way to enjoy your workout. Runners may take different routes, but we all end up at the same place at the end—better off than we started.
What The Heck Is An Interval?
Anthropology teaches us that each group or sub-culture on this planet has its unique customs, greetings, languages and even style of dress. Now that I have joined the wacky ranks of the running community I am finding this to be very true.
My first exposure to the language of runners was a term Carol, my running coach casually called “interval”. My naïve response was , “What the heck is an interval”?
You know that sadistic look people get in their eye when they know something you don’t and that knowledge usually has something to do with you curled up in the fetal position? Well, that is the look I got from Carol. That look was answer enough to making the hairs on the back of my neck stand up and make me start to question my desire to become a runner.
Interval training, as she explained it, is bursts of intense exercise followed by periods of moderate rest. Translation: Run till you feel like you’re going to yack, and then walk it off.
So this was day 1 running. As I mentioned in my last blog, I will be running a 5k in December and then hopefully a 10k in January or February. As this is my first day and running is not something I have ever done before, I’m trying to figure out what would be a good time for a first 5k.
Any suggestions from my fellow runners?
Weekend Warrior Report
At 7 AM this morning, two days before race day, the temperature is 48 degrees.
By any standard, this is cold for the start of the race. Add that the temperature of the water is only 64 degrees and you start to wonder what your thinking was that you were going to be racing in the heat.
I don’t like cold water. I did Muskoka one year- June in Ontario. The stated water temperature was 54 degrees and this was, if canadians are capable of such things, a lie. I was disoriented when I exited the water.
This is nowhere near that bad, but swimming without a wetsuit yesterday, I wasn’t too happy.
Of course, the truth is there will be ‘heat’, which is to say that it will get up into the mid-to-upper seventies during the bike and the run. And with the stronger sun here, it will get hot. I certainly was sweating in the middle of the day while I was standing around waiting for my bike, which TriBike Transport did a great job getting here.
Overall the village was very well organized and if everyone had not wanted to check in at the athlete registration at 10AM yesterday, which is no fault of the venue, things would have been perfect.
But the four hours I spent at the village waiting for one thing or another did make it clear- it will be hot. Just not in the water or at the beginning of the bike…
PS- the race does not climb that hill. It’s just a cool hill. Maybe I’d place better if we did climb it
This Weekend Warrior Report is contributed by Alan MacDougal http://rochpunk.blogspot.com/