Learning to Love…

The past month has been a lesson in practicing discipline, being patient and embracing an entirely new approach. I’ve gone through a tough breakup*, one we can all relate to. You’re stuck obsessing over the little things, knowing full well when you’re making deposits in the ego-bank (that acquire little-to-no interest) instead of investing in your own long-term success.

You’re ready to move on, but sometimes need a little outside push.

Things only get “better” by change. Embrace change; invite it over for appetizers and get to know it as slowly as you feel comfortable with, and then you’ll find you have a lot in common and could probably chat for hours and you might even ask change to stick around for dessert. After all, you never know what could be…so, why not?

just goIn the spirit of this lover’s holiday, I’m not here to drone on about the lows and the tough days and the little tantrums that our minds sometimes slip through the crack. Nope – those won’t do any good! Today, we’re chatting about the growth that comes when you declare victory over all of the above.

Since we last spoke, I decided against fighting the HR and thus I win. It’s a pretty sweet deal. We’re very happy together.

run walk

Or at least up the hills, and if I’m chatting your ear off, and if the paper-man throws a newspaper right near me during a dark early-morning jaunt in the neighborhood. I’m learning a lot of lessons about what makes the heart skip a beat!

The back-story: when I started this HR-based training cycle, it was recommended I remove pace (and perhaps distance) from my watch. Yes I could still do the nerdy run thing and calculate them myself, but focusing on one number (HR) while running is enough. Trying to match that up with expectations and associations won’t be any good – comparing your current beau with all of the exes is never advantageous, right? Right.

too far

I’d prefer to only go 26.2 miles, but you get the gist.

*So, I broke up with pace. And that is NO easy feat for a runner. But, in the early stages, while I’m base-building and courting my own cardiovascular system (so romantic), it doesn’t serve me. It’s a mind-game gone sour, and when it’s not in the mix, you’re suddenly very relaxed.

This time, running is about effort and efficiency – working to strengthen your cardio and aerobic system. Once you have the basics down, you work on pace and mindset and race-day plans.

The greenest thing on this side of the fence is how you can gauge improvement. With mileage/pace-focused training, I can add 2 miles to every long run every Saturday and survive that, feeling as though I’m moving forward. But, there’s no way to know for sure – some long runs are great, and despite every effort, some feel really freaking awful. While that may still be the case here, I can look back at the trend. And when things are going well? It’s very obvious! When you  can say “I ran for one hour (again) and covered more distance at a faster pace and lower average heart-rate than last week!”, you can also say “Whoop! It’s working!!!”. The latter is less of a mouthful, but if you’ve ever trained by HR, you know the former is really what we’re going for.

I’m learning to love the math, data, HRM and pace-free watch screen. I’m learning to trust a new process. I’m learning how great it can feel to “run easy”, with plenty of oxygen. I’m learning that there is always more to learn.

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What have you learned to love lately?

5 Comments

Filed under learning, marathon, running, training

5 Responses to Learning to Love…

  1. Ohh you totally got me for a second! I was like, “oh no, I hate breakups!” but this one is a little friendly than say, the one I went through like 5 years ago!

    Day by day by day, I am learning to continue loving my body. Some days it’s hard because you’re like, ew, I’m bloated whatever, but I really really love my body not because of how it looks (which is cool too), but for the wonderful things that it can do!

  2. Jody

    You totally got me with this one.. Ha! After my last marathon, I fell out of love with running. I did too many in 2013, and just wasn’t enjoying the training. I deferred MCM for 2014 after barely running 10 miles a week from October on.. I’m getting back into it but seeing my pace now versus where I was with marathon training has me angry at myself. Oh well… It will take time. Happy valentines day, and enjoy the snow we have!

  3. Yeah, I too was fooled. My friend Lindsey has done the HR training before and I found her experience pretty fascinating. Maybe someday I’ll borrow the book from her and test it out.

  4. I love this post. I suffered a foot injury 3 weeks ago and just starting to walk this week out of my boot. I’ve been swimming & spinning every day since my injury to maintain my fitness, but I’m dreading what’s it’s going to be like to run again. I know I’m going to obsess on my time & distance, but will need to remind myself to go slow & accept that my body has to work back up to where it was before.

  5. Morgan

    The HR training baffles me. Also, how on earth do you get your strap to stay up? Mine falls down even if I tuck it up under my sports bra.

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