Seven miles done and done yesterday. A few today. Very few on Thursday and nada on Friday. That’s the way I’ve done it forever and that’s what I’m gonna stick to. Isn’t it crazy how close you get to your running partners? All of those miles and talks and sweat along the way makes them feel like family by the end of a training cycle. We’ve been running together for 3 years now. Here’s to another 60:)
Brooke is convinced that Beretta loves her pink blanket as much as she does.
Fewer miles each day = more time to blow dry and curl your daughter’s long hair.
We hit up the park for some fun time.
And sometimes all I need is a sandwich on toasted bread (Dave’s Killer Bread at Costco might be the best store-bought bread there ever was).
PS this is my favorite kid stage (yes, I know I have been telling you that same thing through every part of Brooke’s previous 4 years on the earth but this time I am convinced it really is the best).
Such a hard life these two have.
We had our Tuesday night date night.
Italian food was our craving for the evening.
This bruschetta was heaven.
With froyo for dessert!!!
And we finished off with Hobby Lobby. I really like naps.
I’ve been thinking a lot about what makes us actually ready for race day? It’s not like we get up to the full distance in our training (i.e. I only go as far as 22 miles in preparation for the 26.2 miles) for our race. Sometimes race day presents crazy weather, or we start that wonderful time of the month just in time for your race and get to deal with cramps in addition to fatigue, or we go through something emotionally taxing leading up to race day that really throws us off, or sometimes the hills that come up on the course are way more than anything we are trained for—> But somehow we finish it (unless a DNF is in the cards which does happen at times). It’s always especially amazing to me that I bump up from 20/22 miles in training up to 26.2 miles when that really is a HUGE jump. So what makes that jump possible? How do we overcome any of those race day obstacles that pop up (which they always do) when we haven’t experienced them before?
I think the answer I’ve come up with is that running and all of the training truly refines us.
Refine is a word that I have thought a lot about over the last few years. I’ve come to the conclusion that we all go through different hard things in life to be refined. And running does that same thing for us.
Refine: Remove impurities or unwanted elements from (a substance). Improve (something) by making small changes, in particular make (an idea, theory, or method) more subtle and accurate.
The hard times that I had a few years ago really helped to refine me a bit. I think the struggles and trials that we face along the way in life no matter what they may be (and I’m convinced that everyone’s definition of hard is correct for them and truly hard) forces growth. The pain, hard things we go through with friends/family/work/kids/anything, the loneliness, sickness, injuries… it all kind of fine-tunes us. The hard spots make us push out of our comfort zones and find solutions to become stronger because of it.
It isn’t the easy downhill with a tailwind training run that is getting us closer to a personal record in our next race (although easy running is important). It isn’t jogging in place in the comfort of our warm house with a smile on our face and a caramel milkshake (can you tell what I am craving right now;) in our right hand that builds strength to make that jump from 20 to 26.2 miles.
It’s those runs that hurt, that challenge you (physically or mentally), that you want to quit because they are so hard, that make you strong enough to reach that finish line. Those runs make you strong because they make your muscles work in a way that they have never worked before. They force you to focus. To get rid of the fluff and grasp on to the important things like your form, breathing and mental strength. It’s when you are so out of breathe and each muscle is shaking from fatigue that you keep putting one foot in front of the other and proving to yourself that you can in fact do hard things that refine us in preparation for race day. Those challenging runs make you reevaluate how you have done things in the past and how you want to do them in the future. And when you do enough of those refining training runs, you gain strength you never would have imagined and you eventually hit those personal/distance records in your race.
Thinking about those really hard training runs and things that get me out of my comfort zone as ways to refine myself and/or my running makes those hard runs a whole lot better.
One of the hundreds of reasons why we keep on running is because running refines us. It improves us through small changes. It rids us of some of those unwanted elements (fear, anxiety, stress, lack of confidence, anger ((oh how running helped me through angry times of life in the past) etc.). Each training run that we do makes a small change in us or our running. It challenges us to find better ways of doing things and over time it refines us to have the mental/physical strength that we need to finish our goal race/distance.
We need to keep up with all of the refining we are doing with our training. It just prepares us to handle whatever comes along the way.
Those of you that have a running partner… how long have you been running with them?
How has running refined you? How has the hard spots in life refined you?
Pasta person… yay or nay? What’s your favorite type?
Tell me about your last challenging run!!! How did you get through it? A mantra, a goal, your running partner?