I completed my second half-marathon yesterday, and I’ve gained some new insights…
First thirteen plus miles is a long way to run, no matter how fast you go. Secondly practice may not make perfect but it makes you more proficient ( I took nearly twenty minutes off my last year’s time), granted when you’re slow it is easy to make big improvements. However improvements are never made if we don’t make the effort.
Life is difficult, there are challenges far greater than running a long distance. People are struggling with health, family and emotional issues everyday. But if we take control of what is in our immediate control and work on improving even one small aspect of ourselves. We can gain the confidence to go beyond our comfort zone.
If you had told me two years ago that I would be running in long distance races. Contemplating on running in races out of my immediate area. I would have laughed. Yet I’m doing just that — Running a half-marathon was to be a one-off something to mark my sixtieth birthday. Then something wonderful happened along the way, running/slogging long distances made me more centered, it made me happy. Whether it was being out in nature, away from a screen, or the ample physical and health benefits. Running made me better and apparently the more I’ve trained the better I’ve gotten.
Yes, it’s been a long road from alternating running and walking between telephone poles. Finally being able to slog a mile without stopping, then running a full 5k and now running a half marathon where I felt good afterward! Taking that first step and following through to some 30,000 steps to yesterday’s finish line has taught me I can reach a goal if I’m willing to put in the work.
I hope I can be an example to the students I teach, that it takes more than wishing to reach a goal. It takes commitment and hard work. Who knows maybe I will inspire someone to take a step on the long road to wherever …
Ever have one of those days when all aspects of “your” time on the planet align? The past 24 hours have been that way for me…
First the past, yesterday would’ve been my father’s 88th birthday — I spent the day remembering and celebrating him, first with a simple Facebook post acknowledging his birthday. Which he thanked me with a penny I found at the gym (1989 the year he passed.) Before heading for work I made my annual birthday beer visit to his grave. (You see before he passed while he was still lucid I asked him if he wanted me to remember him in a special way and he said on his birthday pour a beer on his grave.) I filled him in on the news: mom’s new living room furniture, my brother and sister-in-law’s recent visit and how the NY Giants suck at the moment. I also told him about my upcoming half marathon and asked for a little help (actually a lot of help). Then I poured the last can of Samuel Adams summer ale on his grave (very fitting as it was the last day of summer).
Present, I accomplished 365 consecutive days of meditating with my insight timer! I’m pretty jazzed about that goal, because I proved to myself I can go the distance. Which is important to my psyche with my 1/2 marathon just a few weeks away. In fact I did a little reconnaissance for the race. First I found where I’m to park for the shuttle on race day then I drove the route to evaluate the hills and to get an idea of where to go (as there will probably be no people running when I finish). I’m feeling ok about the hills the scary part or wild card is weather, wind will not be good. Much of the route is by the Atlantic ocean and a head wind could be brutal. Excessive heat or rain won’t be very welcome either – Keeping my fingers crossed…
Future; every Friday I do my assigned task in my book of Lists, today’s assignment was to list things that mattered 5 years ago that no longer have the same meaning. It was refreshing to see that I’ve grown less concerned with material things and prefer more spiritual pursuits. The second part of my task was to go onto the FutureMe.com site and write an email to myself to be sent sometime in the future I set my birthday 2020. I have my reasons for choosing that date and will share them at another time. I highly recommend you trying this assignment out, it was quite up lifting for me! It should be quite a surprise when I get the email as I’m sure I’ll forget I wrote it!
So there you have it past, present and future. I’ve been blessed. I am blessed and I’m sure I’ll be blessed!
Here are a few things I’ve tried, noticed and or other general observations during my first six weeks of half marathon training.
Let me begin by saying it’s been a good five to six years since I’ve done any “serious” running training. I’ve slogged a couple of miles a week and have run a few 5k’s a year — That was until I got the “bright idea” to run a half marathon at 60!
The first thing I did was to research how I could do this safely and with the least amount of stress to my body and have fun doing it. I found Chi Running by Danny Dreyer, and downloaded his Chi Walking and Running videos, and bought his Chi Marathon book. While the transition from my former duck slogging style (I have a foot that splays out) to the Chi Walking and then Chi Running concepts have been an adjustment they are as advertised I’m up to seven miles with very little issues and I’m hoping to keep it that way. I’ll admit I’m walking as well as slogging, but my slogging is increasing – My goal isn’t to win the race but just to finish before the sun sets! I find the half marathon training regime to be easy to follow and not at all stressful. I’m able to maintain my martial arts and weight training regimes as well.
One of the items I’ve used in conjunction with the Chi Running/walking training is a metronome. I admit it wasn’t easy to use at first and it harkened me back to my traumatic band experience of trying to stay in step! That said it has helped me find a tempo that I can maintain without taxing my body. Another I can’t live without (okay I can live without it but would hate to) is my Apple Watch. I love the feed back while I’m working out it’s helped me maintain a good training heart rate so I’m not slogging at an anaerobic pace. Plus it logs all my stats. A new little item I’m using is the “Flip Belt” I love it. It carries my keys, phone, a water bottle and anything else I’ll need during training or in a race – You forget its there!
Nutritionally I’ve eliminated junk and have been eating clean, the least amount of processed food possible. One thing I highly recommend is Zeal by Zurvita an all in one nutritional drink that is a synergistic blend of whole food concentrates. It is Gluten free, Vegan and Kosher. I use Zeal twice a day and it helps energize me through my runs and refuels me mid afternoon. (Contact me for further information) If you are interested.
What’s changed? I’m down eight lbs I feel great my body is in the best shape it’s been in at 60! I love having a goal, and inspiring others. There are many more steps before this all culminates sometime on October 8th, my hope is that I continue to make progress, remain healthy, learn something while enjoying the process – Baby Steps…