GRAVEL TRAVEL // PUSHING PAST YOUR LIMITS
The month of October has been filled with lot’s of ups, downs, and fun times.
Which, naturally, means fitness and blogging have both had to take a little bit of a backseat. Truthfully, it something I’m okay with…but also not something I want to make a habit of. I’ve had stellar weeks where my mileage was decent, and I was able to get in 3 or 4 lifts plus 4 or 5 runs. I’ve also had weeks, like last week, where I ran+lifted twice and that was it. Point being, you can be “into fitness” without having your entire life revolve around it. I had zero guilt last week about missing workouts and eating good food over the weekend. Mainly, because life’s far too short to waste time feeling bad about those things, or to miss out on spending time with people you care about just to get in those extra workouts or eat a little healthier.
I’ve also finally gotten out of the habit of having to track everything I eat via myfitnesspal and planning out my meals/calories a full week at a time. These days, I literally just take everything one day at a time…and I’m seriously loving it! It’s such a freeing feeling knowing that I can just mentally figure out how many calories I’ve eaten and how many I’ve burned off, and then decide whether I want to eat in a deficit on that day or not.
Perhaps the BIGGEST change this month has been giving a BIG middle finger to my 3:45 a.m. alarm on a regular basis.
I got up and ran/hit the gym twice this week when the dreaded sound of my alarm woke me up out of a deep, peaceful sleep. TWICE. The rest of the time, I slept in until 7 or 8, a just got started whenever my schedule allowed. Yesterday it was at noon, and today at around 8:50. Both of these runs ended up being two of my favorites this week. I ran hard and fast, and enjoyed every minute of it! Ya know, minus the whole sweat and snot flying everywhere, plus having to take my glasses of because they kept fogging up. I ran different routes than my normal route both days, which made things easier and more fun mentally.
Today’s 5 miler was all about living in the moment. Taking things one step at a time. And, just enjoying the cool, crisp morning air and the fall scenery. It was hard. It was an absolute blast. I was sore and breathing heavy, yet it’s the most alive I’ve felt in forever. I did part of an old gavel out and back route from way back during my high school cross country days. It made me miss those good times, and running outside of town on the deserted roadways. Just me and my music. I struggled at times to find the joy in running, to not give up or get discouraged when things got tough.
But, I did it. I ran 5 miles for the first time in over 3 weeks. It was a little slow paced, but honestly who cares about pace when you’re trying to live in the moment and take a trip down memory lane. This was also the first time I’ve gotten 5 runs in in a single week since I don’t even know when. It felt good. Inspiring. Like, finally, I’ve gotten back into a routine…and of course fallen in love with running all over again for the umpteenth time.
Looking forward, I know things are just going to get more difficult. Less enjoyable. Less sleeping in and running whenever feels right.
Winter and snow and ice will be here before too long. And, with it, comes far less running outside, and more having to get to the gym by 4:15 so I have a treadmill to run on. It will SUCK…a lot. Not being able to feel the fresh air on my face, or just simply run without knowing my current pace or distance. The lack of sleep will make things even harder, less enjoyable. But, it will all be worth it once spring gets here. At least, that’s what I’m going to tell myself when it’s January, negative a billion out, and I’m zombie running on the treadmill…in the worst mood possible and wanting to throw the towel in after just a mile or two.
I will look back then on this week and smile. Thinking of the 3 nearly perfect outdoor runs I had this week. On all the fun I’ve had this fall, both fitness and non-fitness wise. And, I’ll be counting down the days until I can hit the pavement again, even though I know the transition will be rough. Because, that’s what it’s all about. Pushing your limits. Constantly trying to get better, faster, stronger. More confident in yourself as a runner and a person. Today, I was able to do all of that before 11 a.m. And, that’s something to be proud of. And thankful for as well!