I remember one year, I was on the consult service the week of Thanksgiving and while I had Thanksgiving Day off, I had to come in on the Friday. A nurse asked me while I was making my way down the hospital hall whether I was okay. I didn't realize exactly how debilitated I appeared. Just walking a bit slow today *shuffle, shuffle, shuffle*!
This year, it has been no different. I should be more prepared after the same sequence of events every year for the past 4 years but, no, I stepped out of bed on Friday morning and was like - WHOA: IS THIS RHABDO? HOLY CRAP IT HURTS. If I wondered whether I pushed it hard or not, there was my answer. Yet, something about the pain with every step (all day and all night) is nice in a weird way. It's proof that I did something hard.
Thursday was my fifth race this year. I've realized that training for a race keeps me motivated in a way that plain old hopes and goals don't. With my work schedule and everything going on, it used to be so easy to make excuses why I couldn't run:
- It's too late
- It's too early
- I don't want to do my hair again
- Everyone else is hungry
- I'm hungry
- I have low energy (related to the above or separate)
- or almost anything else
Also, my time on last year's Turkey Chase 10K was almost the same as the prior year. That was kind of anticlimactic. So I asked my husband to help me work on speed over the last year. He's always designed workouts for his own bad Ironman self, so let's just say I was a little scared of what he might design for me in terms of training. Keeping in mind that he went to a military service academy and I went to a college where you could design your own major.
Turns out, I love me a training schedule! I run 4 times a week and have easy and hard runs each week to complete. (I particularly enjoy the easy runs.) I train for the next race and have had PRs each time. I really love that in my 40's, I can get better and better at something physical. (It's not all downhill!) Granted, I started from a very low bar of speed. But, it has channeled my previously hibernating competitive streak into something productive.
During the Turkey Chase this year, I tried to use my Fitbit Blaze to track my pace. At the starting line, as I was trying to start the app, it kept saying "Check Fitbit App." Awesome. Last race, the display was showing me "Calories Burned" instead of my pace which was the last thing I want to know while running a race. So I felt that my contemporaneous race tracking was doomed which turned to be true as my watch kept giving me wrong distance tracking and pace estimates that were way slow. By just the time, it seemed as I was running fast, but I wasn't sure with all of the inaccurate data floating around on my display and my math skills have deteriorated a long way since college calculus.
The race results posted yesterday, and I was thrilled to see that I beat last year's time by almost 6 minutes! That felt great. Mentally, not physically, since physically I'm still decrepit. But, it's a good pain, the kind that comes from trying hard and accomplishing something. I may even miss it when it's gone.
|Not pictured: heavy labored wheezing/breathing|