Do you think you have one more in you?

I have the honor of coaching a women’s-specific running group. It is my most favorite thing to do. To see progress in the women I coach is not only hugely gratifying–hooray! something I’ve developed is actually successful!–but it is incredibly inspiring. At our interval session tonight, the plan was to do 6 sprint intervals, but then we (me and my co-coach) challenged the women to do one more. “You think you have one more in you?” we asked. “Let’s do it!” they replied. They ran that interval with such grit! Then we challenged them to one more all-out sprint. “Let’s do it!” They totally rock. I love these women!

 

Just a girl and her whistle…

It had me thinking: do I have one more in me? Or can I put in a little more effort sometimes? I’m trying my darndest this training cycle to be consistent, which sometimes feels like that extra effort. These incremental gains add up to big results down the road. In the past, I pushed myself too hard, completely blew up, and eventually gave up my goals. If there was an excuse not to work out, I found it. It’s not like I hated exercise; I hated not seeing fast results. I didn’t persist. I didn’t give one more effort. A little bit of a disconnect? I think so!

This time, I’m taking it slow–giving a little extra when it’s smart to do so–and you know what? Taking it slow and building over the days, weeks, and months has done more for me than all the previous years of halfhearted fitness attempts. I believe I’m in the best shape of my life physically and mentally. Of course there’s always room for improvement, but I love the trajectory I’m on. They say slow and steady wins the race. I say slow, steady, and perseverance wins the race. Because of this consistency, when I need to put in that much more effort, I can–and I delight in that.

Do you have one more in you? Will you take the better road one small step at a time?

 

Ironman Santa Rosa 70.3 Training and Other Wandering Thoughts

I knew I would come back eventually, even if it was to just air some thoughts weeks before my first half Ironman, Ironman Santa Rosa 70.3. I’ve been training for this race for several months, first building up the base fitness, and right now I’m working on some peak training weeks since I only have about 7 weeks to go before the big day.

And an Olympic-distance tri is stuck in there too–about 3 weeks to go till that. I’ve already run three races this year, a 5K, a trail 10K, and a half marathon. I’m happy to report that I’ve PR’d at each distance. Yay!

Honestly, if you would’ve told me 35 weeks ago that I would lose 20+ pounds, enjoy training for hours on end, and only wear spandex unless it were a special occasion (like, say, my anniversary), I would’ve been skeptical. I’ve always liked exercising, though. I’ve always liked being fit, but I hadn’t had the actual drive to get there or reach for a huge, scary goal. I was so undisciplined that I floated around, kind of keeping up running fitness, but not really making progress. I don’t know what got into me over 8 months ago. Something sparked a thought: “You can do this. Why the heck not?” Maybe I was just tired of making excuses for myself. Maybe I knew there was more in me than I was giving.

I had a breakthrough of sorts today after an hour on my bike trainer followed by a 2.25-mile transition run at a moderate pace. I thought about how just a few months ago, I couldn’t have done what I did today at the effort I sustained. Not even close. That in itself is worth it to me. To be able to continue to improve, to give more effort, to share a passion with others, is a blessing.

I’ve found that consistency is key to all this–in any goal anyone sets. If you make more workouts than you miss–or if you take more steps forward than steps back–you will improve leaps and bounds. Again, I was skeptical. No way could I could achieve the goals I saw others achieve. But I learned persistence and relentless forward progress pays off. I won’t achieve the goals I see others achieve. I will crush the goals I was brave enough to set for myself.

Is my training perfect? Not at all. I’ve missed workouts here and there. My swim has taken a couple backwards steps lately, but even with anxiety about that, I know I’m putting in the work to achieve my goal.

Choose a big, scary goal and do the work. You will be blown away by what you can do and your own awesomeness.

Am I nervous for my first real triathlon season? Absolutely, but I’m so excited. This year will be the best year ever!

What are your goals for the year?

 

Thoughtful Thursday: Be Challenged

 

It is only through being challenged that we become stronger, faster, or¬†better. It would be nice to progress by not actively working–and working hard–toward our goals, but then we wouldn’t learn anything because there wouldn’t be a process to go through. Find something you want to do that challenges you a bit, make a plan, and work on it every day.

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What’s something that’s challenged you this week?¬†

Any plans for Valentine’s Day?