Friday, January 9, 2015

2015... The Process

Happy New Year!

Jan 1... Started the year with a group run on the most amazing route. I'm seriously spoiled as this route is one I can run right from my front door. It's all hills back there in the Ho'omaluhia Botanical Gardens but the scenery is so gorgeous, you forget how hard it is to run. :)

Starting the year with a solid run felt like the right thing to do, though in all honesty the effort there was probably harder than generally appropriate for a January run. I don't do stuff like this that often so I think it was fine. I will say though, I don't think running like that all the time is the way to reach big goals... I'm really learning and every year more and more I am grasping the concept of The Process... and building as we go... That not every training session is a test and most sessions shouldn't be raced and it isn't best to always be judging ourselves based on our pace/power week in and week out... While seeing glimpses of progress is good, going about The Process of training in such a way as to be at your peak when it matters is better... This is where I think athletes get into trouble when they do all their training as part of group sessions. Or at least, I would get myself into trouble this way!

I find myself feeling exceptionally motivated at the moment. It's not really just this moment though... I've been feeling this way for several months now... Just mentally and emotionally and physically ready to tackle training in a way that sets me up to keep building toward my goals this year. Such a difference from where I was at last year at this time.

I get motivated when I sense a real possibility of 'success', however one might define that. I think for me, success this year will be about pushing through to a new level on my run. Just reaching or maintaining my past levels of swim/bike would be satisfying for me (Funny, I'm not convinced I have a ton of room to grow with swim/bike? Maybe I'll prove myself wrong? That would be super...) but with the run I feel like there's and I have been focused in a way I have never been before on doing things correctly with my running... I know some believe that focusing on changing run form is a waste of energy and doesn't lead to better/faster running, but I'm not in that camp (anymore). Every run I do now I am focused on my posture, my cadence and how/where my arms are swinging... It was so awkward at first to change and I thought I just wasn't the kind of runner who could run with a cadence of 90 and still be aerobic... But it turns out that I just needed to take a few more steps backward before I could move forward again. So I did that. In fact, I took the smallest little steps you could possibly imagine trying to combine high cadence with low HR. Turns out, it is possible! And if you go all the way back to the beginning teaching yourself this, you'll get it! Trust me if- after 20 years of running with a cadence of 80- I can change, anyone can! I will say though, it requires some patience. Ok, a lot of patience. BUT, I'm seeing glimpses now of the type of runner I hope to become and as the weeks go by and I see it more and more, my confidence grows... And that, I think, is the key for an old dog athlete like me.

I've been spending a fair amount of time in the weight room recently as well. Really enjoying the lifting and I can feel that I'm a ton stronger already. I actually just bought a 45b bar to have here at my house and as time goes by I will likely start adding bumper plates to my collection so I can do weighted squats and lunges and deadlifts right here at home. That's how much I like this stuff. One thing I really like is the feeling I have when finishing up a heavy weights session. Not just the mental/emotional feeling but the actual physical feeling. I think there's a shift in hormones going on b/c the pumped up "high" is super cool.

Speaking of shifts in hormones, holy cow you guys I think I've discovered how to control that PMS roller coaster I've been riding every month for the last 5+ years... 3 months in a row now I've had ZERO issues in this area... and after months where I had such horrible lows right before my period would come (hot flashes, no power on the bike, frustrations at everything from red lights while driving to being out of peanut butter to the sound of my daughter's voice, crying at the tip of a hat for no reason whatsoever, feeling like an elephant while running, not wanting to get out of bed, I could go on and on...) This is such a giant relief I don't even know where to start?!? It's just crazy to me to have days and days of good solid training sessions and then all of a sudden get my period?! Usually I know it's coming b/c everything SUCKS for like 5 days prior... but not anymore. Phew! My gut says I've got my hormonal balance back and this is just essential to feeling good.

Speaking of feeling good, doesn't this picture make you feel good? :)

OK- I need to get going to the pool. I'm less motivated than normal to swim right now b/c the heater in our pool has been broken and the water temp has been hovering around 72 degrees. I've never done this before, but I'm actually packing my wetsuit today and I just might cave and wear it in the pool.

Cheers to 2015!!

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