Sunday, April 26, 2009

A lesson well learnt

It isn't over until it's over.  Today, I learned a valuable lesson that I'm sure will help me in future racing endeavours to come: how you feel at the beginning of a race can change in an instant, with hard work, perseverance and a prayer.  

Today was the 4th time I've entered the TC 10k, and with the eventual goal of dropping my time to a sub forty (38-39) as the long term, my coach and I decided that a good target for this race would be a 41-43 10k.  With this in mind, I was anxious and excited to start the race this morning...I had been dreaming of racing all week.

The first 3km felt like death.  I'm not sure if it was my breakfast or starting too quickly, but my stomach turned into a knotty mess of side stitches so painful I had to slow down and seriously considered quitting several times.  After 3.5km I decided I would run to the end of the TC turn around and reassess how I felt and whether I should continue due to the fact that I would most likely have to slow down!  Many thoughts where rushing through my head, the pain, how crappy it would feel to quit, my excellent splits, the pain again ect.....  And this, is where I believe God came in, for some reason, perhaps beyond my control, I didn't quit.  Despite the pain, I kept on hammering and before I knew it I was descending down the 7km mark.  At this point, the K's became much more effortless and God allowed me to run freely, fluidly and pass a lot of runners along the way.  Before I knew it I was surging to the finish for a personal best 10k of 43:40.  It is by God's grace that I was able to muscle through a race, that I previously thought I would have to quit, and achieve a Personal Best.  Thank you God!

The lesson learned:  mental fortitude, strength and trust in God are paramount in racing effectively.  The race isn't over until it's over, and things can turn around for the better!  Yeah 43:40.....and counting the days until a 39 10K!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

I like being high

I love the natural high of a good run.  Seriously, I think my body is hard wired to crave and need the lift of a good workout on a daily basis.  I need my daily dose of endorphins.  

What a wonderful gift it is to run, swim, cycle and workout in general!  I truly know and believe that exercise or freedom of movement is a gift from God for us to enjoy!  Living life to the fullest, on a broad scale means attempting, for the most part, to make the most of each day!  For me, because of my life's path, this means specifically training on a daily basis and making the most it whether my energy is so-so or flying high.  I view training and exercise as a true gift and purpose that God has given me and many others.

Today's run was excellent, well actually it was a "brick" workout.  The bike end of things didn't feel all that great, but I managed to "muscle my way through it" in hopes of a better run.  A better run was in store, indeed.  I hit my stride as soon as I begun and took nearly 3 minutes off my previous "comfortable pace" for my 10k run (which turned out to be around 11k).  I think this was in part due to my spectacular new racers, man did they ever feel great, and an increase in lactate threshold capacity (all those fartlek and tempo runs!).

Feeling very happy, endorphins are flying....peace!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Blasting around the trails

I love running.  Love, love, love running.  

I woke up today, feeling not altogether that energetic after the week's higher volume and realized today it was raining and my coach had scheduled a long run.  Oh well, tough, get on the runners, hit the trails and "just do it"  (I'm a big fan of this "just do it" slogan...a little corporate I know, but it actually has great personal value).  My legs felt a little like cement after yesterday's weights and intence spin, but I kept moving trying not to think about the fatigue my legs.  After a couple loops around the trail, there was one long hill which to my dismay I felt like was  "mission impossible" to run up; but, I never walk up this hill so I wasn't about to start, even if that meant jogging, instead of running...oh no!  Nevertheless, I kept on moving and by half way through the run I felt like I was running a descent clip.  That's one of the things I love and find fascinating about sport, how your body and mind can feel fatigued to start and before you know it your singing to the tunes on your ipod and having an altogether awesome time.  This is a great lesson, you'll never regret going, working out that is, but you'll usually regret passing up a training session.

All and all, I had a great run and enjoyed the scenery.  I passed some cute little animals sprawling about, including little dogs and bunny's.  Yes, this is an additional motivating factor to get out and run...ha ha.  Next time I may have to bring my cell so I can take a picture of some of my finds....including a very dear little white dog that appeared to be covered in mud from his adventures.  Love it!

Good run....endorphins are flying high!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

New Race flats....or Training shoes??

I've been doing a lot of reading about Newton Shoes and minimalist running, and have come to the conclusion that maybe I should give the whole minimalist approach a go!  So the idea, as I understand it, is that contrary to past theories on running form and shoe construction we should actually be running with less cushioning and support.  I guess it's the whole idea "less is more", which make sense if you allow the body to more naturally respond to a given surface (trail or concrete) it will better be able to respond by adapting to one's natural stride or gait.  With that in mind, after my first training session today I was on a mission to find the lightest trainer/racer possible and try this whole "natural running" thing out.  I'm super excited, in a geeky endurance athlete way, to see how my body responds to the flats....I'm thinking it's going to be an excellent ride!  I feel faster just looking at them...awesome!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Into the world of blogging I come.  I'm not too sure what to expect from the whole thing.....more then anything this is a way for me to communicate with family and friends so that they know, through all my busyness, training and working that, yes, in fact I am still alive.  

So where do I go from here?  Well for starters, as my family and friends know, I like to train a LOT and have undertaken triathlon and competitive running more seriously within the last year with the intention of "making something" of myself within the sport.  So I guess, this blog is a journal or public documentation of my journey into the sport of Triathlon and competitive running!!  So welcome to the training life of Mell...updates to come!!