So, what changed? How did we go from a couple who signed-up for and ‘got through’ races to a couple who actually enjoyed Goofy’s Challenge (1/2 marathon on Saturday followed by a full marathon on Sunday)?
The catalyst for me … cycling. The advice … find something you enjoy doing. Our lack of training was because running wasn’t enjoyable to us. Each time we’d sign up for a race we thought we’d change and be able to stick to our training goal … but, it never worked because it wasn’t fun. When things aren’t fun, it is easy to come up with great excuses to put it off. Unfortunately, training isn’t something you can procrastinate about!
After our miserable marathon experience in January 2009, we took a break from running. That summer we invested in road bikes – Kris wanted to get into triathlons. I wasn’t as excited about the idea of cycling, but … if Kris was doing it, so would I … and, I’m so glad I did! Right away we started going on long rides on the weekends – it was amazing to me how many miles we could cover and how long I could sit on a bike without getting bored or tired. We rode any chance we could and as it started cooling down we began riding to work … which has become my favorite way to start my day!
The most surprising thing to me was when I went back to running … it actually began to be fun. Because of the cycling, I knocked 2 minutes off my pace and it made me feel great. That brought out my competitive spirit and showed me running was something I could do and could improve at.
We still don’t follow traditional training plans for our running events … those don’t work for us … but, we do train, have had great races and are actually enjoying it. Yes, you do need to put in running miles if you are training for a running event … but, if you want to be successful, find a way to enjoy your training!