This past Christmas Eve, my husband and I sat around a dining room table at his aunt’s house with two of his cousins and their father. They have all been runners at some point in their lives and have completed marathons. They’re also VERY smart and fascinating people doing exciting things in their lives so it’s just fun to be around them. We had an interesting conversation about training methods and high mileage plans and how stressful they can be. The younger of my husband’s cousins said (and I may not have this 100% right), “It’s like some people think that motion equals work.” I took a moment to process that statement, agreed with him, but that little sentence came back to me like a punch upside the head yesterday in the shower after my 3 mile run.
This past week, I was really down on myself with negative self talk and was unhappy with the little amounts of exercise I was able to do. I didn’t give myself any credit for working full-time and still getting dinner on the table or the fact that my husband and I cared for 2 sick kids with strep throat and sinus infections, while still cheering our other kiddo on at his first basketball games after an ankle injury. All I could think about was how I felt guilty because I just wanted to rub my bare feet between my flannel sheets and soft fuzzy blanket while the Mamas were all getting up at 5am to swim or to run or to go to CrossFit. But today’s shower helped me to change my thinking. I am really working hard on not dwelling on what I didn’t do and really working hard on shifting my focus to ALL of the positive because THERE IS SO MUCH POSITIVE! So here’s what I did do this week: helped Mama D launch the Run Happy For Todd challenge, ran 2 miles on Monday and Wednesday each, did Yoga 3 times this week, signed up for the Coastal Delaware Half Marathon in April, and yesterday I slogged through my own 5K in my neighborhood then took the dogs and the kids to a little park for some rock hopping and exploring. THAT’S A LOT!
So one thing is certain: my shower thoughts are really important…….and they’re almost like a basic algebraic formula
— if a + b = c and b+ c =d then a and d ………
STAY WITH ME! I’m almost done.
If work is targeted mental and/or physical activity that leads to a purpose or an end result, and motion is the act of moving or being moved, then motion does NOT equal work.
FOCUSED and SPECIFIC motion equals work. So when I did my 15 minute Yoga workout and I felt bad about myself because I didn’t sweat for a whole hour, did I not do “work”? I sure did do work because I found particular videos that would either really stretch my hips, aim to strengthen my core and lower body, or addressed overall flexibility. I found the videos that built up my foundational skills and the basis of running to strengthen and/or prevent injury. So basically, even though there was a short duration of the motion, it was really GOOD quality work because it was precise.
It’s just like how people can be busy all day but not really get anything done. Busyness does NOT equal high productivity. And therefore, motion does NOT equal work.
Since January 2nd, when I came out of the woods and hopped back on the fitness trail that I was previously on, I haven’t really followed a plan. I knew I wanted to swim, run, and do yoga because that’s when my body feels really good. So at least my intentions were good. I was “hoping” to swim 1x/week and run 2-3 times per week, and maybe do yoga 2-3 times per week, but I never fully committed to be as purposeful as possible with my “motion”. (Thank goodness the Mamas got me in the pool 2 Monday mornings this month!)… but here I am, with this new thought that’s going to help me not feel so overwhelmed when I look at the half marathon training plan that I’m worried about being able to follow.
I will stay purposeful and precise with my training by adding specific exercises when it says stretch/strengthen or cross train days on the plan. That’s where I’ll add in my yoga and swimming. Also, I may reduce the weekly runs from 4 to 3 runs per week. Then I’m not really following the plan, but my body feels good running 3 times per week and surrounding those runs with cross training. I’m looking forwarding to running across that finish line with strength and grace and a big smile on my face!
Blaze your trail of awesomeness,