Rookie mistake

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This week I made the classic mistake. I hoped for an easy workout.
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I’d been dealing with a sinus infection and woke up feeling weak. I didn’t want to skip the workout, but also didn’t want to make myself sick. If I really was unwell, I shouldn’t have gone to practice. But since I was there, there’s nothing worse than starting a workout wanting it to be easy.

First off, going in with that mindset might actually make it harder, because you set yourself up for a higher relative perceived exertion (learned more about this from the book Peak Performance. Next on the list is Alex Hutchinson’s Endure). ⠀ ⠀
But also, the whole point is for it to be hard! That’s where the improvement happens. You come to appreciate that feeling. I learned that from Kim Conley. She is the best at leaning in when it’s getting uncomfortable.
Finally, beginning with a caveat makes it easier to fall off. You’re not committed, so you have to make the decision to commit over and over again throughout the session.

End result: I did the workout. Big surprise: it was hard. In a nice case of life imitating art, I thought of my IG post in the final minutes of the tempo to help me stay connected… I will keep the workout streak alive!

I hope it was the right call doing the session. I’m trying to take good care of myself and stay healthy. And moving forward, I will be content with making my cake. I’ll wait to eat it for a while longer. 😋

Something has switched

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Over the last few weeks, I’ve gone from nervous about workouts, to excited about them. Over the past few months, I’ve gone from not finishing or falling off, to hanging on, to being okay with helping lead and push some reps.

I so wish I had started these updates in the fall, so you could see just how different this is from then. Instead, you’ll have to take my word. It is such a freaking relief.

I’m excited to go to practice again. I’m holding myself back from asking for more.

I was talking with Amy about that shift. I love the way she put it… as inertia starts to kick in, there’s an extra motivation each day to keep the streak alive. I want to nail the workouts bc of my goals. But now I also want to finish because I have a rhythm going, and I don’t want it to stop. Completing each session moves more into the column of “nonnegotiable.” Momentum is a beautiful thing.

And there are still all the familiar worries… that I’ll take it for granted and somehow jinx it… or what if one day it all just stops and I’m back on the struggle bus. But the fear of that struggle is lessening the more I see it as a feasible challenge, and a sign that good things are to come. And for now, I’m just trying to enjoy the flow for a sec. To borrow the phrase from my current jam… GTFOMD 😜

Photo by Jordan Beckett

We’re back

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It’s almost a full group warming up these days… 8-10 women. It’s amazing (sometimes intimidating) how much talent and drive there is in the group.

I was part of a panel discussion last week. The topic was women supporting women, and how to lift each other up in sports and business. At talks like that, many times there is a question about how to reduce cattiness and competitiveness among women. In my experience, that isn’t the key question. For me, it’s how do I remain confident in myself, while also surrounding myself with successful, confident people.

I only get the urge to be gossipy, or want to find something “wrong” with someone else, when I’m a low on my self-esteem. And that tends to happen when I lose track of my personal path and goals.

Example from last week: For our Tuesday workouts, I am usually given a shorter set. This is because I run less mileage, and I’m relatively new to the program. Still, I don’t want to feel like the runt of the litter, and it’s easy to compare myself with training partners who seem so similar on the surface. We are runners! We are women! We are comparable!

But that is a trap. Just because we can wear the same sports bra, doesn’t make us the same. We are different people, different stories. Right now for me, feeling within myself on a 4.5 mile fartlek is progress. I want to keep pushing that up in distance, but I also have to acknowledge that that’s a big step.

And the more I clarify my unique path, the more I am able to celebrate the unique strengths in my training partners. The mantra I use to get in this mindset is, “I am me, and I love me some me.” Silly, but effective😬! Of course it’s easier said than done. I go through ups and downs in my confidence. But like anything else, it’s the progress that matters. 💋

Photo by Jordan Beckett

Workouts begin

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Almost immediately after writing last week’s update, we got the text that workouts began the next morning. I wrote this note after the first workout…

He texts at nine and my heart skips a beat. I feel nervous like the first day of school. One of my first thoughts is: “I’m not ready.” Or I just wish there was more time.
I can’t believe I still get nervous like this after so many years.

I remind myself… just because a thought appears doesn’t make it real. (This is a tricky one. Maybe especially for people who have experienced periods of great mental strength. You get used to being able to accomplish anything you put your mind to, and that’s an incredible high. But then what happens when you are in a building or uncertain phase? If I know that anything I believe about my abilities is true, what do I do when a nervous or scared thought pops up?)

Anyway, back in moment.
Don’t overthink. Go to sleep. Wake up. Make coffee. Two cups of coffee. Go to Nike. See friendly faces (Colleen was back, we heard about Birmingham). And just don’t attach too much meaning to any passing thought. Track tempo followed by 4 x k. Nothing crazy, and my tempo was shorter than the others’, but I finished. And there’s a wave of relief after. (I think I’m still a bit shell-shocked from fall training. Even today, I was waiting for a moment when I’d drop off. Not ideal, but this is a good reminder that I could benefit from starting back with sports psych).

Other than that, we are back to a 7 day cycle… two workouts and long run per week. The intensity will increase, but for now I’m glad to have one week checked off. ✅