Happy Friday everyone! We have *almost* made it through another winter-wonderland-wonderful week (here in Southwest PA, at least). Seriously, is winter ever going to end?! We better have an awesome summer after putting up with all this snow nonsense these past few months. I’m no stranger to running in freezing temps, but snow and ice and COLD are definitely not my favorite conditions to run in. Or live in, really. I’m sooo ready to log some springtime miles. Soon, hopefully. If not, I’m going to become an early-age snowbird and ship myself off to warmer climates. Preferably near a beach where I can lay and sip margaritas every night after the kids go to bed… okay, now I’m just daydreaming.
Enough griping about the weather. On to more important things– it’s the day before a race weekend! Woohoo! That in itself is all the motivation I need to get myself through the day. Tomorrow I’m waking up early and running one of my favorite local races– the Takeoff 2018: Trooper Kenton Iwaniec Memorial Race. This race supports a great cause– honoring DUI victims and raising awareness about the serious implications of impaired driving– and always brings a large crowd with many members of law enforcement attending. There is a beautiful and moving service prior to the race to honor local State Trooper Kenton Iwaniec, who was killed in a tragic DUI accident in 2008. It’s so empowering to see so many members of the community come together in support of such a great cause.
This race holds a special place in my heart because it was the first 10K I ever ran back in 2011. Despite the terrible conditions that day (I can still vividly remember the rain, cold, and extreme wind), I enjoyed the race so much and was in awe of the fact that I could not only run but race for a distance of 6.2 miles. It was the start of my love for “distance” running (“distance” being relative at that point in time). The 10K still remains my 2nd favorite race distance to run (13.1 being my all-time favorite, of course).
Since that first 10K in 2011, I’ve only had the opportunity to run this race two other times, so I’m really looking forward to running it tomorrow. My fastest time here was in 2014 when I ran it in 54:44 (an 8:50 pace). Ah, the speedy (for me) days. My main goal for tomorrow is to finish in less than an hour (a 9:39 pace minimum). I haven’t run a 10K distance race in over two years, though, so I don’t even know if that is realistic. My most recent 5K pace was 9:02 and that included some unfortunate walking incidents, so I’m hoping that a 9:39 pace for 10K is sustainable. Only time and my Garmin will tell, I suppose.
My past few races, I’ve been getting sidetracked (not completely sidelined, but sidetracked) by side stitches. Ugh. Aren’t they the worst?! I have no idea what is causing them, but I’m planning to use the next few weeks to try to figure it out so I can hopefully avoid them during the Pittsburgh half in May. My first thought is that my core isn’t strong enough, because after two babies (one being a c-section) and zero core work, it’s not strong at all. I’ve done some core moves this week, although for this race it might be too-little-too-late. My second thought is that my nutrition is completely inadequate, because it isn’t focused on my training at all right now. My plan for yesterday & today is to go heavier on refined carbs and lighter on fats, as well as hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! The side stitches that I got during my 10-miler a few weeks ago were 100% the result of not being hydrated sufficiently. I used to make sure I was drinking plenty of fluids the entire week before a long race, but during my two-year-running-hiatus I guess I completely forgot that was something that I do, haha. I drank too much during the race itself to compensate for my dehydration (I was SO thirsty), and the side stitches showed up not long after that. Big oopsie. Live and learn, I guess. So hydration is the name of the game today.
I’m really looking forward to hitting the pavement tomorrow; I’ll be sure to come back and update with how it goes. What are your plans for the weekend?? Are there any “sprinter” (spring that’s actually winter) races on your calendar?!
It’s Friday, so it’s time for some fitness motivation. I don’t know about you, but Des Linden’s first place victory at Boston has been my all the motivation I’ve needed all.week.long.
Watching replays of her victorious finish seriously gives me goosebumps! I don’t know that I’ll ever be blessed with the opportunity to run Boston, but Des and so many other women like her are my running role models– I would LOVE to not only be able to run another full, but to be competitive when I do it. After her victory on Monday, I’ve set a new goal for myself: run another full marathon, and beat my previous time when I do it. Although the logistics (i.e. two babe under 3) make this a long-term goal, it’s a definite new goal of mine. When the time is right, I want to start training for another 26.2.
So, in the spirit of competitive running, this Friday’s Fit Motivation comes straight from the champion herself:
Any fitness endeavor, running most definitely included, gets to be hard at times. We get tired. We lose our spark, and wonder why we ever started in the first place. In these moments, it’s easy to talk ourselves into quitting. All motivation seems to be gone. But, there was a reason you started– and that reason doesn’t just go away because you’re going through a hard time. Even when you lose sight of that reason, just keep showing up. Even when you don’t want to, just keep showing up. Don’t give up on your dreams and goals. Just keep showing up. If you do, you’ll get through it. You’ll improve. You’ll remember why you started. And you’ll find that spark again. Whether it’s a tough race or a months-long fitness funk, just keep showing up. If you do, you’ll be proud of yourself for reaching your goals. If you don’t, and if you give up– you’ll never reach your goals. You’ll only be letting yourself down. Disappointment is a downwards spiral that you don’t want to pull yourself into.
I don’t know about you, but as an overwhelmed mom-of-two who is struggling to get back into the running scene after taking too much time off, this really speaks to me. I look at my pre-baby paces and get discouraged because I’m nowhere near where I used to be. So many times I go into a race with high expectations and get let down when I see the clock at the finish line, minutes later than where I had hoped to see it. Or I am mid-race, holding a great pace, and ruin it all by making a rookie mistake (e.g. dehydration). In these times, it’s easy to say “what’s the use?” and give up. Some goals just take time. And time takes dedication. If you give up, you never reach these goals. If you keep showing up, you do– it’s as simple as that.
There are so many ways you could interpret Des’s words, but this is how they speak to me.
Happy Friday, everyone– enjoy your weekend!