Siobhan and I live in Charleston, SC. The summers are hot and sticky, so we run early. We’ve run Boston in 90 degrees – slowing down 2 min per mile over our normal pace. I’ve run countless Disney races in the heat, stopping to take pictures and not caring about time. So why did I think I could hold my BQ pace in 80 degrees with 100% humidity? No clue!
As a runner, of course I love running. If given a choice of activities on any given day, at almost any given time, I would choose running over other sporting activities. I do have a long list of activities that I like to do….running, biking, swimming, walking my dog, watching TV (oh wait, I shouldn’t admit that). However, I have found another activity to add to my long list of activities that I enjoy, if not love, and that is yoga. For years yoga has been the activity that I knew I SHOULD be doing, but not one that I enjoyed doing. I would go to one or two classes for a few weeks, then I would go back to my normal routine and leave yoga in the dust. I would even wear my wrist watch to class so that I could constantly keep track of the time I had left in a class. Even though I knew the yoga class was good for me, I was desperate to leave. However, especially as an ‘aging’ masters athlete, I realize that yoga can help me swim, bike and run more efficiently and stay injury free. My goal is to incorporate yoga into my weekly and monthly workout routine.
After completing several Marathons, I’ve learned they are as much mental, as they are physical. This is even more so when trying to reach a time goal. I do the normal strategies like breaking up the race into chunks, pacing, etc. But, the most powerful strategy I’ve discovered is in the magic of mantras.
As my big, “A” race approaches in the next 25 days, I’ve started to think about what it next for me. What is my next goal? Because my race is a hilly ultra marathon, I know I’ll need some time off to recover both mentally and physically. Therefore, my next big race won’t be until sometime this fall, allowing me at least a month or so to recover before I start training for my next adventure. But I know myself, and I will need some type of direction for that time period or I run the risk of doing too much during that time, not allowing myself time to recover fully and thereby increasing my risk or injury or burnout.