I began my July training, where I left off in June. Running 40+ mile weeks. As I previously mentioned, I had reached a place where my body and my mind were not where I knew I could be. Not pie-in-the-sky ideals, but logically for my age and current fitness level. I knew I could do better, much better. I fell victim to the "run less to gain more". All that brought me was fatigue and lack of motivation. Running less does not make you stronger. The only way muscles become strong is using them. I used my rest days as excuses not to workout or run. Instead of methodically planning when were my rest days and sticking to a training plan.
I began to run 40 mile weeks, much to the disgust of a few runner friends who felt I was "only" training for Half's and 5k's.
- To be a finisher, run low mileage
- To be a good runner, run medium mileage
- To be a great runner, run high mileage
My goal is to be a great runner. Gone are my days of "just finishing" a distance. Afterall, I could plunk down a Half or Full Marathon distance as a training run. Why bother to pay for a race, if I have the "just to finish" mentality for myself? Just "finishing" no longer brings me satisfaction or gratification.
I am at a race to give it my all, out of respect for myself, my training and the sport I love. I will never be an elite and who knows what decade I will BQ, but I will train to ensure I am giving it my all on a race day. While I cannot PR on every race and every course, I want to finish with nothing in my tank. I want to cross that finish line knowing I left it on the course. To me, that is satisfaction for a job well done and worth my registration fee.
I ran 3 weeks of 40 miles, then backed down to high 20's on the 3rd week and then back up the 4th week. I also I ran a 3 Half Marathons. My first ever double. I learned, I don't like doubles, so that won't be happening again, anytime soon (race report coming later). I also ran twice in one day, many times. Sometimes running 8 miles in the AM was not possible, so I would do 4 and 4 or 5 and 3. I like running double days, but I wouldn't do it, every day. Other than my Easy Run days, I am on empty after each workout. The sweat is rolling down my body was a welcome sight. I am not wanting workouts where I feel like I can tip-toe through the tulips. I need workouts and runs that challenge my body and mind to the very limit. Nothing else like it.
Here I am, on the last day of July and I have run 155+ miles. Not once did I hop on the cycle to add miles.
The verdict? I am not sure why it took me this long to push my miles & my cross training workouts. I feel more energized, revitalized than I have in almost 2 years. Instead of being burned out, fatigued and even injured (as many thought I would be) - I feel stronger, faster and leaner.
Was it easy? It was not. It hurt and the weather was hard to deal with, but it's Summer Vegas weather. All the complaining in the world isn't going to change it or make it easier for me. So, I deal with it and make it as safe as possible. Hear that FAB-O friends? Why complain about the weather - unless you can change it? I crossed trained hard, I ran hard & smart. There was not one mile of junk miles or "to get it over with". Every run had a purpose and goal, even if it was a cool down to jog with my dogs. My recovery days were strategically planned and not "when I felt like it" or didn't feel like working out. My fitness, my body and my goals deserved a much more focused person, than I have been for the last year.
Did I want to quit? I did not. Any desire to quit and stop training so hard was over-thrown by my desire to be fit, lead and in shape. My goals are more important than my complaints or excuses.
Today, I stepped he bathroom scale for the first time in a month. I had lost 5 lbs. I wasn't trying to, but told my body - you do whatever you need to do, for me to lean up and be more efficient.
Will I keep this up? I will. The Winter race season is just around the corner which includes my focus 5k and Half Marathon. I will end this year on a much better fitness level than I did in 2012. All that I achieve this Summer, will help me create a base when the LAM training begins in Nov/Dec. Every month I will increase my mileage, little by little and gauging my body every step of the way and I will decrease my mileage if I need to. Please feel free to follow my training log on DailyMile.
I am SO excited to see what August brings and what I can challenge myself to do.
My gratitude to those who encouraged me every step of the way, instead of trying to convince me to back down because I was "only" running 5k's and Half's - but a very special thanks goes to Eddie, Rocky, Vera, Laura M. and Jeff G . You inspired me to push beyond my mental limits to show me I could achieve my July goals. :)
What are your August Goals?
Make your Impossible...your Possible!
(c) C. Ragsdale 2010-13
Run F.A.B. & Boston Strong,
Charlene L. Ragsdale - Las Vegas, NV
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