A baseline and a stretch

Sub 60 10k
[caption id="attachment_3676" align="alignright" width="225"] A PR! Or...[/caption] It was supposed to be an easy run. That's runnerspeak for conversation pace, or kind of slow.  As in taking it easy. We began that way, running a 12-minute mile to start. We sped up as we ran, and actually I started to tire out. We walked in a couple of places near the end. With all of that, I still ended up running a PR! Well, sort of. I've only completed a handful of runs at 10k (6.2 miles) or longer. The first time was November 2013. I didn't run that distance again until this year. RunKeeper has my data since 2011. It  knows the truth – my 2013 run was faster. Garmin only has data since February 2016, so today's run is the fastest it…
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7, 8, 9…

Running Buddha, Sub 60 10k, Temple Building, Zaimu Challenge
In 2014, I began a running plan via my RunKeeper app. It's a fat burning plan, and alternates intervals with steady runs to increase your fitness level. The app features several such plans for goals like run a 5k (3.1 miles), run a 5k in less than 30 minutes, and so on. Although I don't enter races, I run 5ks and a rare 10k (6.2 miles), as part of a regular exercise regimen. While perusing the plans back then, I noticed a 7-mile training run included to build endurance for a 5k. At that point I was a consistent 4-mile runner and 7 miles seemed daunting. It was a little too far outside my comfort zone, and after all, I was just a casual runner. The goal and the fear intrigued me, though. I filed it in the back of my…
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One step. 10k.

Running Buddha, Sub 60 10k, Temple Building, Zaimu Challenge
Today I began a 10k training program. I started on Day 3, as I'd already completed the equivalent of the first two days on my regular regimen. I ran my standard distance – 4 miles – so it was an easy entry. My distance running has been primarily self-taught/self-guided until now. I've been comfortable, and now that I'm fully settled into my new life, I'm ready to break boundaries. I want to prove to myself that I can set and accomplish goals with consistency and commitment. These ingredients are sometimes lacking in my creative endeavors, and the combination of structure, challenge and discipline will reap benefits in the weeks and months to come. Today's run was to be conversation pace, defined on this plan as 11:15-11:30 minutes per mile. I nailed it…
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In progress

Running Buddha, Temple Building, Zaimu Challenge
[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="224"] Ajee' Wilson[/caption] Today I ran another 4 miler. I don't generally run two days in a row, but rain is forecast for tomorrow, so I had to get it in. I had modest goals – namely maintaining yesterday's performance with the addition of a slightly faster warm up mile. To my surprise and delight, I crushed it. I pushed the warm up mile and was progressively faster on all miles thereafter. I even dropped my average pace by 30 seconds.  That's pretty shocking, and in truth, I hit my target. As in, what I expected to be doing after a couple of weeks of effort. Next steps? Keeping this up long term, and not just as a quick trick a couple of days here and there. I'm still taking…
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Beyond the usual

Running Buddha, Temple Building, Zaimu Challenge
My usual run is four miles at a steady pace. Sometimes I do a faster three, or a slower five or six, but on a typical day, it's four – two out and back. I strive for negative splits, each mile faster than the last. But I haven't focused on overall pace in ages. In the past couple of months, I've added some interval training. So some days I do my steady four and others it's sprint work, or longer faster bouts, with periods of low intensity to recover. I selected a fat burning plan, rather than one for speed building. That said, it's reasonable to expect speed gains when you put your newly optimized lungs and legs to the test. [caption id="" align="alignright" width="318"] Monica Hargrove being badass.[/caption] I haven't done that. On my four-milers, I take…
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Get ‘er done!

Zaimu Challenge
[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="248"] Dig deep. Get 'er done![/caption] Sometimes the day just slips away. Or the hours of the day more specifically. Today was one of those days. I can't exactly say I was productive – at least if we're only considering deliverables or output. Simply put, I don't have products to show for my time.  But I do have mental space cleared and three project plans in the works. Moreover, I updated my goal list, transforming it to include bigger, yet more concrete goals. I even changed the name, now calling it a Victory List. We're nearly halfway done with 2016. It's time to get it cracking! How are you doing on your 2016 goals? What will you do to make them reality?
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Puzzle Pieces

Zaimu Challenge
If you pursue a question or an idea and are open to the myriad whispering voices in your midst, it's almost miraculous how you'll begin to receive information, encouragement, something to bring you closer to understanding. Almost miraculous, but on further reflection, it seems more of an equation. The first part, of course, is the question itself. The curious mind, the curious heart, desires to know; to understand. If there is no desire, even if the information is close at hand, it remains invisible. Undiscovered. Present, but ultimately useless. It's a glass of water for one who has no thirst presently, and none approaching. So a seeking spirit is the first key. Aside from the question, there's the matter of receptiveness. This is related to a curious heart, but it's a separate consideration. Many…
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Next steps

Personal Narrative
[caption id="attachment_3323" align="alignright" width="175"] Nic taking steps in Portugal.[/caption] I long held on to something that was once a good stepping stone and source of support but it turned into something... much less productive. After a couple of years it became a crutch. And over the past few months, and most clearly the past couple of days, I realized it was more like an anchor. In Nichiren Buddhism, once you realize you're in a less than ideal situation, you seek to understand your role in it. You take responsibility and try to transform it. Hendoku iyaku, or changing poison into medicine, is a powerful approach. But it doesn't work if you try to transform the wrong thing. You can't change other people. You can only change you. I've felt stagnant and frustrated for quite some time,…
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40 miles

Temple Building
[caption id="attachment_3050" align="aligncenter" width="729"] Today I hit my goal of 40 miles.[/caption]   Each month during "running season," I set a mileage goal. Most of the time it's 50 miles, but this August I cut it to 40 so I could add strength training to the mix. Some months it's down to the wire in terms of whether or not I'll hit that magic number. In fact, one month it seemed so unlikely, I pretty much gave up. Last month was another close call. On the very last day of July I ran a personal long of over six miles in order to pull out a victory. That makes 6.36/50/50. Personal long today and goooooaaaaallllll! #runchat #running pic.twitter.com/Yezdv5gR36 — nicole denise (@ndcollier) July 31, 2014 I was very proud of myself, but I'm…
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Today I Ran

30 Day Blog Challenge, 30 in 30 April
Today I ran. Mostly, I jogged, if you want to get technical. I wasn't out there sprinting or going particularly fast. But I was out there. And it was great. Tough, yes, but really nice to be outside again. [caption id="attachment_2850" align="alignright" width="200"] My last run was a PR![/caption] It was my first run since my milestone of November 2013. Five months to the day. I didn't realize that when I decided today had to be the day. I just knew it wasn't too cold and the sun was beckoning. I decided to just go out a mile and back. I hit my target pace of 10 min/mile. I had some difficulty breathing on a few stretches and some histamine reactions in my muscles. Both of these were to be…
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