I’m always focusing on running longer. How far can I slog it out? If I’m getting tired, I slow it down and set the cruise control on lollygagging speed. I’ve always measured my success on reaching distance miles. Run a 5K, try for a half, then attempt a full. My biggest benchmark was to finish without walking.
Lately, I’ve been focusing on getter faster rather than farther. To do this, I joined a track club. Something so totally out of this solitary runner’s comfort zone. Let’s just say that the warm-up is hard on me. It’s intimidating how fast everyone is. Many runners there are looking to get down to a sub 6-minute mile while I’m looking for a 9-minuter.
However, what I have learned over the years is that runners are very inclusive and accepting people. If you ever feel like there’s too much negativity in your life first turn off the news and then go join a running club. Runners are so positive. My coach recently came in 3rd place overall in a competitive triathlon yet he never fails to offer personal advice to my turtle speed. He treats me as though I’m an elite athlete attempting to qualify for the Olympic Marathon Trials.
It’s paying off too. I’m seeing my times start to dip lower. I’ve decided to give my speed more attention than my distance. To stop getting lost in my latest Audible.com selfhelp book and focus on the expensive Garmin220 on my wrist and get that mileage time down. Time for some mindful running.
As a perpetual goal-oriented planner, I put a race on the calendar. River, Roots & Ruts Trail Marathon. I’m not planning on doing the half but a half-marathon relay. Each person takes half of the half. I’ve enlisted my husband on this one and that can be a scary thing for me as he is not only a 7-minute mile runner but extremely competitive. I intend to give this one my all so that Team Lutz does not disappoint.
How can you not want to enter a race that has this shirt and award?:
If you’re running is getting stale, don’t just think about a different route or distance, think about time and intensity. Studies have shown you don’t have to run for hours for the major health benefits. The intensity matters more than the miles.
Running is about testing your limits, so go find them.