Monday, January 23, 2012

Why I run

So race day is less than 2 months away! Hard to believe that February is just around the corner. When signing up for this race, March seemed so far away, but it will be here so soon.
As I progress deeper into my training and really have to push myself to make it through every workout, I often find myself thinking, “Why am I doing this?”
As I mentioned in my first half marathon recap, I have never been a runner and certainly don’t proclaim to be one now. I would probably best characterize myself as a “wannabe athlete.” I was the kid that skipped gym class so I could spend more time in the classroom. When it came to picking teams for group sports, I was only asked to be on the team because I was nice and could smile my way into making someone feel sorry for me! But I gave everything a try. I was on the basketball team, volleyball team and tennis. Nothing stuck past one or two seasons and as I got older I accepted that playing sports was just not part of my life. So instead of fretting about what I couldn’t do, I focused my energy on what I could do and found that despite not being athletically gifted, I do have determination and it is that quality that has seen me through life.
While I credit my determination to most of my success in life, there are so many things in life that you can’t control. So for me, running has become the one thing in life that I CAN control. Of course, my body fights me and I deal with injuries, but there is something liberating about lacing up my shoes and going out for a run.  While my athletic abilities are lacking, I have been told I “shuffle” rather than actually run, and probably get passed by more runners that I care to count, running makes me feel stronger.  I can run really hard during an interval workout and end knowing that I gave it everything I had or I can run, long and slow and know that I pushed my body as far as I could. Of course, it never fails that in the first two minutes of any workout, I curse myself about how much I hate to run and tell myself that after this race, I will never run again. Thankfully, I finish my workout and see each run as an accomplishment and contribution to my health and wellness and it doesn’t hurt that I thrive off of the feeling of completing a hard workout.  
Now getting on the workout clothes and lacing up the shoes to get started is a whole another battle. Sometimes that blanket and couch look too welcoming! Another discussion for another post!
So while I will probably never run in the Olympic Games or even finish at the top of my age group in my first marathon, running works for me because I CAN do it.  I run because it is something only I can do for myself. I run because so many people can’t run and there may be a day when I can’t run. I run because it helps me forget just for a short time anything else that might be bothering me. I run because at one point in my life I couldn’t run down the block but now I am training for a marathon.   And who doesn’t like looking back at their calendar and basking in the glow of the number of races completed?! I do! I love it! Not to mention the occasional great t-shirt and stack of runner’s bibs that litter my office bulletin board. All signs of success and hard work!
And who knows?  I started with a half marathon and now training for a full! What is next? Triathlon? Ultra marathon? When you start small and continue to work at your goals, the only limits become the ones that you put on yourself.
 So on to the training! Week 2 of CrossFit Endurance training has begun today! Here is what my week will look like:

Yoga/Short Interval Training
Short Interval
CFSA and Tempo
Strength and Condition
Back squat and Box Jumps/Cleans +MetCon
Tabata Run. Treadmill set at 10-12% grade, 0-30 sec slower than 5k pace per mile, do not reduce speed
6x200m at a faster than 5k pace; rest so that each interval is +/-3 seconds
2 mile time trial and WOD
Strength and Condition
Long Metcon

What does all this mean?
WOD: Workout of the day
MetCon: Metabolic Conditioning
Tabata: 20 seconds of ultra-intense exercise  followed by 10 seconds of rest, repeated continuously for 4 minutes (8 cycles)
Looks like a fun week! Last week was the first time I did a yoga class during my training and I LOVED it! I didn’t realize how tight I was and all the stretching made any soreness go away!  I wish I could get more in! I am sure it would help tremendously! I
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  1. Good stuff! I ran my first half in Vegas in December. It was awesome! I definately consider myself more of a jogger too, nothing like Steve:) I am training for another half at the end of march. Totally impressed that you are doing a full! Good luck and I will be pulling for you!

  2. Mariza,

    How crazy, I come on here to post and see G beat me to it. We hadn't talked about it. I'm really proud of you and very excited for you as well. The feeling you will have when you finish is amazing, powerful. Good luck in your last weeks of training and keep it up. If I can find anything in you're area that fits schedule wise I'll consider it. I see that The North Face is the first week in June in DC.

    Take care,