Sunday, July 15, 2012

slow and steady wins big time

"Slow and steady wins the race" can probably apply to anything but running. In the cliche sense, sure "slow and steady" wins a personal race in running; it keeps you safe and fresh without overexerting yourself. But in the literal sense, slow and steady makes you kind of mediocre in a race.

The day I finished my first 10K in December 2011, I was beyond ecstatic. I felt like I had accomplished so much and was really proud of my whimsy new years resolution to "become a runner". My family looked at me different, my friends envied my new talent, and I felt on top of the world.

About 24 hours later when the "glory" faded (I now, it's a big adjective for a small achievement, just go with it), I felt embarrassed about how happy I was. I saw my 10K through new eyes. I saw my "slow" pace compared to other people and my place in the lower half of the rankings. I didn't see my accomplishment as an accomplishment anymore, and I started getting really discouraged.

But today during my 5 mile run in the blistering heat was the first time I thought back to how "embarrassed" I felt and realized how silly I was being.

Okay, I'm slow. I'm still faster than everybody on the couch. Running is about improving and empowering, and especially breaking down those mind barriers. My "slow" today was once my "fast" a year and a half ago. And my "fast" these days might be my "slow" another year and a half from now.

So it's okay to be slow! Slow is better than nothing, and a lot of other people out there are doing a whole bunch of nothing.

Here's why I think it's okay to be a slow poke:

1. No pressure! - Sure there's the pressure that I put on myself to get better. But that's just the thing; I'M  the one putting it there. There's no need to set my sights on a hefty new PR or even place top 3 in a race! I run for fun. I run for the love of it. I run because I can.

2. My stamina has improved!- Because I've been working so hard to not be slow and therefore appear to be making very tiny improvements, my long runs have gotten a lot better! Don't get me wrong, I still run anywhere between 11 and 12 minute miles! But my slow pace today made the 5 miles breeze by and I felt strong. I'd rather be strong and slow than fast and dead out of breath.

3. My hydration doesn't suffer- I don't know about you, but when I'm in a "fast groove", stopping for water feels like such a burden. I'm not good at that brisk "gush and go" technique nor do I like to just bop around jogging in place while I drink like an idiot. So when I stop, my legs seem to tense up immediately and it's hard getting back into my groove. I'm thinking of The Emperor's New Groove where he goes, "YOU THREW OFF MY GROOVE!! That's exactly what it does; it throws off my groove! But when I'm slow and steady, my hydrating time doesn't take a toll on my legs. I'm happy when I'm hydrated. I'm not happy when my groove is thrown off.

So today, like I said, I ran 5 miles. I took advantage of some cloudy weather, got rained on for 30 seconds, and then ran the rest of the time in blistering hot humidity. At one point when Cody Simpson was serenading me through my iPod (don't judge, I love him... I never got into the JBiebs craze, but Cody is my love, and I'm not afraid to admit it), my iPod completely malfunctioned. And then continued to malfunction. And I still had 2 and a half miles to go. It kept stopping my music (but not my workout tracker), and then it would pause my workout when I most definitely didn't hit pause. It was a nightmare. Not sure if it was the heat or the 30 second rainfall, but it made me want a Garmin watch even more. I threw a little tantrum as well when it paused my workout for the 765th (approximate) time and I think I scared the innocent bystander taking out his garbage. Oops!

I talked about running, so let me talk about fiance across the pond.

Tomorrow is our anniversary. It's the first anniversary we have spent apart since we've been together. Part of me is upset and extremely jealous of all those couples who see each other all the time and would never have to dream of spending an anniversary apart. The other part of me is thankful, because this is the last time we will ever have to be apart. The best anniversary present would be if and when (fingers crossed!) my visa gets approved for me to move there.

I didn't get upset until it was our anniversary there in England, but not here (England is 5 hours ahead of Eastern Time Zone) and we were on Skype. That's when it felt real. Long distance loving is really hard, especially right now.

On a happier note, tomorrow also marks one month until my birthday!

See, there's always a silver lining!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you so much for stopping by! I love reading what you have to say, so feel free to leave a comment!