Stepping it up as the season winds down

12 Oct
Strength circuit with Craftsbury GRP

No, that's not me, but I was recently in Craftsbury with a few members of its Green Racing Program, an elite cross-country ski team based out of northern Vermont. These 20-something-year-old women inspired me during a strength circuit. They did six rounds. I struggled with two.

I had an exercise epiphany earlier this month. Of course, in the average Joe’s world, that means I was feeling a little bit chubby and a whole lot of pain.

After beating myself up mentally on a slow and awkward run, I decided to do something about it. No, this time I wasn’t going to resolve not to eat for the rest of the day (I always end up scoffing down a brownie or cookie a few hours later), cut down calories, or give up anything not organic or “whole” altogether (in my world, that just doesn’t work).

I needed to set some goals and find satisfaction from my workouts rather than disappointment.

For many avid athletes, autumn is a time to wind down. After a summer full of races, they’re tired.

Not me. I had done a couple Spartan/Warrior runs, a few short-distance races, but nothing serious — or nothing I specifically trained for (with the exception of the Spartan Beast … I did plenty of trail running in nervous preparation).

I needed a longer race, something I could put on a calendar and look forward to — maybe. At least I knew it would jumpstart my training.

A few weeks later, I’m feeling much better. Enough with moral victories; I’m really not that sappy of a person. I’m feeling good because I’m fitter.

The race I’m planning on — the 15k Stockade-athon in Schenectady — is still about a month away, but that’s a good thing. I’m getting faster, runs are getting easier and less time on the bike (a sport I love) is forcing me to propel myself on my own two feet.

Running is simple. So why is it so hard? I think because many of us don’t do it enough. Even if we’re pretty active, we do many other things — biking, swimming, hiking, weight lifting — all of which can bring on sore, tired muscles. Then we hit the road on foot and it flat-out hurts.

Maybe nobody else in the world feels like I do. But if you do, consider signing up for something this fall. If you’re not into distance training, how about setting a desired time for a Turkey Trot 5k run? Something is better than nothing, and if you register now, you’ll probably get a T-shirt.

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2 Responses to “Stepping it up as the season winds down”

  1. Alicia October 13, 2011 at 1:50 am #

    Why not do the race where you have to run in your undies through Albany? That will no doubt keep someone driven.

  2. wendy October 15, 2011 at 11:03 pm #

    Yeah said just what I feel

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