Tag Archives: renewal

A baseline and a stretch

A PR! Or...
A PR! Or…

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 knows.

That said, today’s run was still a milestone. It serves as a great baseline for my training program. My goal is to run 10k in less than an hour. With 10-weeks left to train, I’m aiming to cut a solid 8 minutes off my current 10k pace. It feels doable, although a stretch. And that’s the reason I chose this goal in the first place.

My training runs have all gone according to plan, so I’ll trust the process and keep on keeping on.

One step. 10k.

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.

IMG_8426My 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 at 11:20 average pace, but it was interesting to note that my conversation pace was more like concentration pace. Because I usually go much slower at the beginning and much faster at the end, I constantly checked my pace to make sure I was on target. I made mid-course adjustments the whole run to make sure I remained on track. I had to remain focused to keep pace.

The plan is a sub 60 10k. That means my goal is to run just over six miles in just under an hour. This is a doable stretch for me. Although I’m confident I can be successful, I know it will take more effort than I’ve given in the past. Normally I run just for fun. Now I’m running for excellence. I don’t plan to enter an actual race, but I do plan to run faster, and longer and increase my overall fitness.

Today I took a step, and won. My next run is set for Tuesday…

Light a candle…

Today I lit a candle and jotted my thoughts as I set my intentions for the weeks ahead. It’s a new moon, which means it’s a perfect time for a new start.

As I reviewed my words and phrases, I noticed creativity appeared more than once on my list. It’s been a major theme of mine this year, and it make sense it’s time to refresh my focus. The past couple of weeks I’ve had to turn my attention to less than creative projects that take up a lot of mental energy. Today I finished the heavy lifting on much of that, and I felt free!

 

I love it when I see evidence of my internal state in the external world, and this popped up just now:

Phyinomenal screenshot

I’m excited to turn my attention back to creative pursuits – everything from cooking, writing and seduction, to even rebuilding my connection to español.

It’s a new moon. What’s your new start?

Autumnal Equinox 2014

The name gazelle comes from the Arabic word Ghazal which means “elegant and quick.” ~Wikipedia

Natalie is a gazelle.

I see her occasionally during my greenway runs and I always smile. She’s beautiful. She’s powerful. Elegant and quick. On the greenway, her long dark hair is always pulled back, revealing her serene yet happy face. And by the way, she runs marathons. Can you imagine?

Whenever I see her it’s the same… she smiles and waves and shows not a whisper of being winded. Yet she’s running, not jogging. Cheerful just the same.

That’s beauty. That’s inspiration.

I imagine I’m that way from time to time: graceful, cheerful, powerful. Not as often as I’d like, however, and certainly not while running. That’s one of my goals – to be a gazelle when I run. I’m grateful for Natalie’s presence on the greenway.

georgia-305935_640

Fall Renewal

So tomorrow is the first day of autumn and I love beginnings. Mornings, Mondays, new moons, new years, you name it. So a new season fits nicely into the mix, and the first day of autumn it’s the perfect time for purposeful renewal.

Lately I’ve been thinking about (and encountering) the Four Agreements and I’ve been journaling a bit about gratitude. So rather than allowing this to be happenstance, I’d like to spend the next month or so focusing on both of these, and incorporating them as a daily practice.

When I say a daily practice, I mean mindfully choosing thoughts, words and deeds that align with the agreements and with gratitude.

Says Don Miguel Ruiz, author of The Four Agreements:

Every letter, every word in each language is an agreement…. As children, we didn’t have the opportunity to choose our beliefs, but we agreed with the information that was passed to us from the dream of the planet via other humans. The outside dream may hook our attention, but if we don’t agree, we don’t store that information. As soon as we agree, we believe it, and this is called faith. To have faith is to believe unconditionally.

Too much of the time, we go through life allowing it to happen to us, while we mindlessly react. But the Four Agreements reminds us to take responsibility and be a co-creator in our experience of the world. Rather than accepting every word or thought you hear, take some time to reflect. Do you agree? Do you accept? How does this fit with the life you’d like to lead?

You don’t have to agree with every opinion you encounter. You don’t have to accept someone else’s reality as your own. You can create new agreements, moment by moment. Word by word.

As a refresher, the Four Agreements are:

  • Be impeccable with your word
  • Don’t take anything personally
  • Don’t make assumptions
  • Always do your best.

This week, I’m planning to reread the beginning of The Four Agreements, and perhaps write about what I’m reading. I will also continue journaling about gratitude.

What, if anything did you do to mark the beginning of fall? What are your intentions for the season and the rest of the year?