Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Running Up That Hill.

Inspired by the Placebo cover of Kate Bush's song, Running up that Hill.

So I hit a milestone (hooray!) and I wanted to share!

I remember my nights of diligence in the garage at my parents' home, running on the treadmill. I remember thinking that 20 minutes of continuous running was a great accomplishment. It was, no doubt! But at that point, I thought that was the holy grail.

Especially since previous to high school, fitness and myself were like oil and water. Despite my lack of endurance and strength, it didn't register with me that I should be remotely concerned. I looked great. I learned a lesson the hard way: looks can deceive. My cholesterol started running a bit high; my stamina left much to be desired; I could pass as average, but I knew I was not 'fit'.

This was a hard lesson learned, especially since my knowledge did not immediately translate to living a fit, healthy, active lifestyle. Awareness wasn't enough, sadly.

Enter the point where I learned about marathons, ultramarathons, and the Ironman. I fell in love with the idea that a human being could push their bodies to this limit. It begs the question, what is the limit for any other context? Does it actually exist or is it a figment of society's imagination? There's too much proof in the pudding to allow a person of such mental fiber to be brought down by much. That's exactly the kind of experience I'm looking for.

So, I knew I wanted it. I've officially communicated my desire to do an Ironman with many of my friends. They know. I know. So now what?


I let things languish a bit, I admit. I'm back on track though. Joined the gym at my work. Quit eating up my excuses to not work out (it's dark outside, too tired, want to be home and relax, need more space, not motivated, etc) and overlapped the convenience factor with having the luxury of zero minutes of driving time, great equipment to use at my disposal, being able to take a shower right afterwards and having motivation next to me in the form of my fellow coworkers sweating it out too. :)

I've officially reached the point where I can comfortably jog 3 miles straight. That in itself, is a huge milestone for me. Running a mile straight was a huge milestone I hit when I could consistently do it, only starting a few years ago in college. But I know that I have a long journey to go to be Ironman ready. This keeps me motivated.

I feel like I finally have a foothold. I have something to be extremely proud of! I'm not letting this momentum go. I usually sabotage myself, right when I have a lot of progress.

I feel really good about being able to run 3 miles continuously. I think it'll transition well to increasing my speed (currently I'm all about completing, and running at a pretty slow pace to manage that). Also, this keeps me motivated to move forward with getting off the treadmill and attempting real life terrain where it'd be much more difficult with hills, humidity, and actual movement (much harder than the flat, predictable, steady surface of a treadmill). In the mean time, I can increase my incline, increase my volume, increase my speed, vary my tempo/pace, improve my form, test out different strategies to keep me motivated, and to always be evolving.

I won't diminish my accomplishment by qualifying it with how I need to make it better. I know that I'm lapping everyone on the couch. I'm well aware of those amazing individuals who have built volume over the years to complete marathons. I love them. I WILL be one of them. In the mean time, I definitely will bask in my huge win. Very big step that shows me I've come sooo far, and have lots of momentum and self-love on my side to keep me going.


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