Last week I came back from a 30-minute easy afternoon run. Or at least, that’s what my scheme calls it. Yes, the pace was easy indeed, but the weather circumstances made it a challenging one. Before I went outside I already noticed that it was raining. But hey, a little rain doesn’t kill anyone, right? So, I prepared myself to get wet. What I didn’t know, however, was that the moment I got outside it really started pouring – I mean, really pouring. Despite, I just went for it. While running, the raindrops, or should I say waterfall, on my face felt like little needles. Luckily I didn’t take my phone with me; otherwise it would have drowned, for sure. At a certain moment, I even felt water flowing through my shoes. I can assure you, a few years back, I wouldn’t have started to run in the pouring rain, just because my running scheme said so. No way! Even enjoying a run while being totally soaked? Are you kidding?
So, at the moment I’m following a workout scheme from Garmin. This 16-weeks intermediate training scheme should prepare me for a half marathon at the end of May. As I mentioned before, last week a 30-minute easy run (amongst others) was on the schedule. It’s actually the first time I’m kind of following such a scheme, and I like it so far. Some components of it, though, I’ve adapted to my own fitness level. That means I’m not strictly doing all the trainings as defined on that scheme. And some of them I swapped for alternative exercises.
As you can read, I’m obviously in another stage by now, compared to the training for my first half marathon back in 2012. I’m not only a more experienced runner, but running became also a much more important aspect within my daily life. For me it’s almost like therapy: it helps me to ventilate when needed and I definitely feel more balanced thereby. However, as mentioned in my previous post, this didn’t happen overnight. I had – and still have – a lot of ups and downs in between. As much as I love running, sometimes I just can’t find the right motivation to push through. And that sucks! At moments like this, quitting feels very tempting. I think every runner recognizes this feeling. It’s part of the process, whether we like it or not. The trick is to find the right motivation or extra push you need to keep on going. And this can be literally anything, as long as it works for you. Eventually you will notice that pushing through will make you stronger.
I know, it sounds a bit cliché. It’s always easier said than done. True that. Sometimes I think that too. However, when I look back on where I came from, suddenly I see all the effort I’ve put into this journey. For me, it also helps when someone reminds me of that. Even though I might have booked small progress in the past, it’s still progress, whether it’s mentally or physically. And that is what matters!
You must have noticed by now, that in my case running doesn’t come naturally. I can count my races I’ve participated in on one hand and my times are far from exceptional. In total, I ran 3 half marathons, one race of 20k, one of 15k and one of 10k. The 20k and 10k distances I didn’t train for, so I don’t consider them as actual races. Obviously, nothing fancy about that. I’m just a recreational runner, but that’s OK. Although, there’s no significant time difference between the runs I’ve done, and I’ll probably never become an advanced runner, I’m still pleased with the races I did. Moreover, I’ve booked progression under different circumstances, which made me stronger and let me strive for more. Beating my best time with only a minute would already make all the effort worth it.
Thus, looking back on my journey and realizing that there was a time I wasn’t able to run 6k without stopping and being exhausted afterwards, and now being able to run 10k easily, totally helps me to keep up motivated. Running doesn’t end at the finish line. It’s an on-going process.
So, what are my goals for the next months then? Since I won’t be in Holland anymore by the end of May – the time my workout scheme will end and the half marathon in my hometown Leiden will take place – I’ll have to search for an alternative one. I guess, once I’m in New Zealand, I’ll have a look around for races. Of course, I’ll keep you updated.
If you have any further questions about my running scheme I’m following at the moment, please let me know, I’d be happy to answer them!