Who else is dealing with bipolar weather that is messing with your head? Last week we had some really hot days that were followed up with cooler and drier weather. Then this week has been hot, rainy, and ridiculously humid. Those hot days earlier in the week were making me feel pretty down about my running. I was slow, sluggish, and not very motivated.
Then the cooler and drier weather came along and I found myself running fast and happy in the middle of a long run. It felt great. I felt like my old self again. And when I saw my splits in the middle of my run, I was shocked. Earlier in the week I had felt slow and discouraged. Then I started seeing some pretty speedy paces with that cooler weather.
It was a great reminder that we need to be aware of our weather conditions and cut ourselves a little slack at times.
However, I also began reflecting on my running over the years. I realized that at 36 years old, I am running stronger and better than I was in my 20’s. As a mother of a 13 month old, I am continuing to run hard and improve. Not many other sports would let your body do this.
I was a competitive figure skater for many years. If I tried to do anything near what I used to be capable of, I would risk serious injury (and be out of my mind). My body just isn’t cut out for that anymore. Yet, with running, I can do more now than I did a decade ago.
I thought to myself, “Huh, I’m kind of like a fine wine.” But after assessing my sweaty self, I opted for “Stinky Cheese” instead. “I’m like a stinky cheese.” You know what? I’ll take it.
Earlier this year as I was in the midst of training for my first marathon after having a baby, I had a moment where I really second guessed myself. Being a new mom, I hadn’t put in the prep time leading up to training. I didn’t get as many double digit long runs in. I had a baby 5 months earlier. All of this made me wonder if I silly for attempting to qualify for Boston so soon, or even attempt a marathon at all. I posted about how I came to understand that I am not the runner I once was. But I wasn’t the runner I am now.
I ran that marathon. I PR’ed and I got that Boston Qualification. I pushed myself hard that day because I felt like I was running like the wind. My legs burned but my heart soared through the Poconos. It was the most amazing experience and comeback. Lesson learned, we need to be patient with our bodies and also know when to push them.
Sure, there will come a time when we will reach our peak. But in the sport of running, it happens at a much later point in our lives. The only way to find that peak, is to keep pushing to the top. We are capable of so much more than what we realize. Stop letting your mind question your ability and let those legs show you just how strong you are.
And remember, you can always be that stinky cheese 😉