I was running down the street in Paris, passing school groups in uniforms and cafes with red checkered table clothes. I felt cool in my pink Outdoor Voices shorts and then wondered if they were too small… do I look ridiculous? I pushed that thought aside and re-focused on my podcast. I discovered Rogue Running by chance over the summer. I did a google search for good running podcasts and bingo. There are 101 total episodes to date and I’ve listened to around 30. I’m a little obsessed with the podcast and it’s helped me love running as a sport, not just an activity. I highly recommend it!
This particular episode was about finding your “why” to train and run races. As my feet hit the pavement the words (paraphrased) “some people do it to sharpen their minds and bodies” went straight to my heart. I needed running to sharpen my ability to do hard things, to sharpen my ability to focus and set priorities. My stride seemed a little more purposeful as I crossed the River Seine.
I approached this training cycle tentatively. Could I get in all the miles? Would I sleep enough to feel good on long runs? Would Colin be up for helping me get in morning miles? I wasn’t sure, but I wanted to try. Not only did I want to try, I wanted to see if a BQ was possible. I labeled it my pipe dream and started down the marathon training road.
This training cycle is the first time I’ve methodically done speed work, tempo work, easy runs, and some pace focused long runs. I am working with a remote coach, and it’s made a huge difference. Every workout has a purpose and I love it. I love reading my workout for the next day and knowing it’s meant to help me build an aerobic base, or push my speed threshold. Every time I nail a workout it’s a tangible victory and I’ve come to live for the tangible victories. For me, training is about moving my body, facing a challenge and knowing that at the end of the tunnel there will be a moment of vulnerability when I go out on a limb for a big scary goal. When the moment comes I’m gonna have to call on all the confidence I’ve built up in training (and rely on the confidence of other people) and try to stay calm and collected.
Here I am, Friday afternoon before my Sunday race. The moment is here, I am staring down my BQ pipe dream (sub 3:30 – 8 minute pace). I feel just as nervous as I did before collegiate rowing races, and I am grateful to be in this uncomfortable place. This is why I train – so I can see what I am capable of knowing I’ve prepared for the fight.
So, to answer my own question, Why do I Run? I run to sharpen my senses, I run to find my limit and push against it, and I run because I love to feel my heart pounding. I’m running this race because I needed tangible victories everyday. As a mostly stay at home mom, I needed an immediate goal, that was familiar. Athleticism has always been part of my life and I know how to find another gear when my muscles are crying for relief. I needed to take myself back to that place and remember that I was tough.
I’ve enjoyed this training cycle more than I thought I would and I am ready to leave it all on the course on Sunday!
If you want to track me, you can type Ariel Taylor into this website and sign up for text or email alerts. http://results.xacte.com/track?id=2228
See you on the other side of the finish line!