Friday, March 21, 2008

Running the talk

One of the blogs I like to visit is Olga's Run more, talk less. The title of today's post made me thing of the title of her blog, just because of the wording. (I hope you don't feel like I'm poaching, Olga!)

I always had the idea that the title of her blog meant something along the lines of "Just get on with it! Run!" I like that idea.

I have never had a lot of patience with people who yip on about what they're going to do "one day". They talk big and do nothing.

I am coming to realize that some people need to talk things through to make themselves feel accountable. It makes it real for them and then they feel motivated to go out and make it happen.

Others really are "just talk".

Whatever is behind it, it's their journey. Part of my little experiment of late has been to listen without judgement, not necessarily believing everything I hear, but not discounting it either. If there's one thing I am learning it's that humans are complex creatures. Most of them are far beyond my comprehension. And really, one shouldn't judge what one doesn't understand, right?

My return to running has been slow, but good. The foot issue was declared "resolved" yesterday by the dermatologist. There's one teeny little spot there, but it doesn't look like wart tissue, so we'll see what the doctor says next time I see her. Basically, the little buggers scabbed over and fell off. Yup, you read that right. They fell off - all on their own! The trick was to keep them dry enough that scabs formed, resisting the temptation to scratch them when they got itchy and just leave them be to heal. And they did.

The human body is an amazing thing.

I know those were gruesome details, but I also know that the runners out there truly did want to know!

Needless to say, I'm looking forward to a pedicure soon. :-)

So, I've been trying to build up my base again, slowly, so as not to get injured by doing too much, too soon. I celebrate each week that I was able to do a little bit more than the week before.

I'm also trying a new approach - heart rate training. For my long runs (which is a relative term; they are not nearly as long as they used to be, but I'll get there), I am trying to keep my heart rate in the 130s or less. This is pitifully slow, but from everything I've read and been told, heart rate training is very effective for distance athletes. (If anyone has any info on this, I'd love to read more, by the way!)

So far, the results have been good. Better recovery, no tummy grumpiness and no blisters - not even one! I also tried eLoad caps today for the first time, as recommended by my sports nutritionist. My preliminary evaluation is that they work well for me, but I'll test them again on other long runs.

But back to heart rate training... The physical results, for me at least, are undeniable. The tough part is grappling with my own ego. I know I can go faster. I want to go faster. I feel like I am somehow less worthy as a runner if I don't go at a certain pace.

Today I ran past a girl I'm friendly with at my gym. We chat often and she's one of my favorite people who works there. But when it comes to running, we are in different leagues. She's basically an elite track athlete and her warm up pace is faster than my speed work.

We said hi to each other as we passed. My first reaction was embarrassment. I thought, "Oh my God. I'm going so slowly! What is she going to think?"

Then I put myself in check. "Actually, she's likely focussed on her own run and doesn't give a flying leap what you're doing. Besides, who cares what anyone else thinks? It's your run. Enjoy it!"

And so, I grapple with my own ego as I waver between soaking in the beautiful view and clean, crisp air and my own desire to want more. I realize that before I can truly stop judging others, I must train my brain and my heart to stop judging myself.

This has become part of my training. I strive to find the balance between challenging myself, but not so much that it is harmful (blisters, vomiting, infections... morale!)

When I got home, I saw that a friend had posted this video on her Facebook page. I thought it was good. Though it redirects at the end to ask if you want to sign up for a newsletter, it is otherwise worth watching:

Walk the Talk

So, instead of "walking the talk", my mission is to "run the talk". Training the body, the heart, and the mind... all at once.

One step at a time.

PS: Robb will appreciate this. It was just around the freezing point when I started out and went up a couple of degrees during my run. I wore shorts.


Backofpack said...

Good post Sarah. I always find myself qualifying my comments about my abilities as a runner with "yeah, but I'm a slow runner". It doesn't really matter, but it's hard not to wish to be faster. It's also hard to admit to walk breaks and again, I find myself mentioning that they are "doctor ordered". Why do I do that? I mean, they keep me healthy, they keep me uninjured and they let me reach all the goals I set. Ego, I guess. Oh, well.

angie's pink fuzzy said...

great post!

Sarah said...

Thank you for this post. Lately it seems like you are a couple of steps ahead of me on the personal growth continuum. I've gained much to ponder. Thank you. : )

robtherunner said...

I think my new motto should be, "Shut up and run!"

I am glad to hear that you are on the mend. I have heard lots of great things about heart training as well, but never tried it. It's a bit advanced for the likes of me. Stay healthy and run strong.

Turtle Guy said...

Speaking as a "recreational" runner - likely for only one event, I concur with

"Whatever is behind it, it's their journey."

...partly why I resolved to be a "recreational" student, too. I get to experience it all without the added stress of competition. Some are driven by it - I find it can set me back rather than motivate.

Glad to hear you have happy feet, once again!

Journey to a Centum said...

So glad to hear the warts self ejected and that you are back to running! I'm sure the person that gives you your pedicure will appreciate that the warts have moved on.

Trail Scat