It feels like it has been ages since I’ve linked up with Amanda at Running with Spoons for a Thinking Out Loud Thursday post! I feel like my random life updates have kind of popped up here and there in other posts but for the most part I’ve been trying to get the most out of my summer. I have realized, after five years of being in Alberta, that summer is short so you really have to take advantage of it. Aside from adventuring around Alberta, I’ve been RUNNING! I’m putting the run back in Canadian Girl Runs this summer!
In many ways it seems like the stars have aligned to allow me to ease back into running more often and further distances. I felt guilty for a really long time about not running as much as I used to because my ‘brand’ and my internet persona was so running focused, but I recognize now how important it was for me to take a step back the way I did. The stresses that running puts on your body cannot be ignored and for a while I had stresses elsewhere in my personal and professional life and running just wasn’t as big of a priority. I’m never one to get complacent or ‘settle’ into a life without challenges and goals, it’s just where I have focused those efforts has been elsewhere from the sport of running over the last 18 months. I definitely was still active, but until recently I felt myself thinking ‘I have to run at least once this week to keep up somewhat of a running presence’ versus now waking up thinking, ‘I can’t wait to run at least five days this week!’
With that said, it feels natural to begin to once again set some running goals for myself. This summer I have already been able to do a lot of hiking and running and I have found myself acknowledging what feels right to do for my body – taking a day off after a killer hike, not ‘adding’ a workout to a day I teach spin, running further or harder when I feel strong – and as we get closer and closer to fall, I feel the desire to do some running goal setting and push myself to become a stronger and faster runner. I have a few tentative plans for 2018 and want to take the next few months, before the ground freezes over and Alberta becomes a frigid tundra again, to dip my toes in the sport of trail running. It has come as a natural cross between my loves of running and hiking.
It just feels like there is a spark that has been lit and I have the focus and desire to get better – I just have to determine where I align these intentions with something I’m passionate about. If I’m planning to get faster for races in 2018, I need a goal that will get me through months of winter training in Alberta. I need a challenge that is just impossible enough that I have to see if I can do it.
The workouts with Run Collective have been inspiring. I would never push myself to do 30 second strides in a workout, so having 40 people running around you doing the same thing is incredibly powerful. That is exactly what happened last night. Two of the pace groups combined, the one I normally run with and the slightly faster one, which turned into double motivation because I knew who typically ran with the faster group and I pushed myself to stick with them. We did 10 X 30s strides, where my pace was about 6:20 min/mile for the intervals. I’ve tapped into this unreal YEG running community and while there as some aspects that I don’t love (like last week’s unsolicited running advice from a chatty runner that made me slightly more self-conscious about my running), you have to find the tribe that makes you a better you and stick with them. Positive, supportive, hilarious, kind people find other positive, supportive, hilarious and kind people.
I was in a very reflective space writing this. I was thinking about why I hadn’t been running so much in the last year which made me think of all the incredible things I was doing when I wasn’t running – um, completing my Masters degree, writing and publishing my first academic journal article, beginning my first big girl job in an internship, applying for a promotion and starting this new higher-level job upon a successful interview and job offer, hiking a shit-ton, camping solo, teaching multiple classes of spin per week – just to name a few. I then thought about the future and what my aim-high big-picture goals are and how I can get there. That’s where I am today, at that point of potential. At the point of knowing I will do great things, but taking my time to decide what they will be.
There’s reason these posts are ‘thinking out loud,’ but excuse the ramble. 🙂