Misadventures with wine, weights, and running shoes.

Peaks and Valleys Along Your Journey

Tuesday, June 30, 2015
I’ve been in a valley lately in my training/physical performance.  Some self-imposed and some out of my control. In typical OCD fashion, I’ve hyper focused and over analyzed, trying to figure out why and how to get back on track.

At the beginning of my Yoga class last week, I was recalling a conversation I had with Dick Beardsley, during a shakeout run before the BlueRidge Marathon in April. This amazing man was not only the Guinness record holder for 13 consecutive marathon PRs, but had also won tons of races and had more accolades than I can count. Taking advantage of my good fortune, I had asked him for pearls of wisdom about his race experience and strategy.

He summed running a race as this:
During the race, especially in the beginning you will feel amazing, invincible and that anything is possible.  Acknowledge that but don’t let that change your strategy. Stay even and steady. You will also have those low periods, where pain and doubt screams at you from within, and you wonder why you are doing this. Same as before, acknowledge it but don’t feed into it.  Both will happen; both are transient.  Keep yourself steady and ride the waves and you will come out just fine in the end.
It was both comforting and enlightening to know that the most elite athletes have these waves also.
When I first heard it, it made perfect sense. I was thankful of the information.  Almost two months later, as I relayed the wisdom to my students; I had an epiphany:  Not only does this work for marathons, but also for periods during training as well as in life itself.

Very rarely will you find someone that has a steep upward trajectory in training or race performance like Mr. Beardsley had in the beginning.  Most wax and wane; having plateaus and dips with injuries, illness, work, and sometimes just overcome by life events. The goal, overall, is to work towards long term improvement.

We all know this saying, but how often do we heed the word? This too, shall pass.

It is very easy to grab hold and feed into the highs and lows. Many times myself, have I been known to swing wildly in both directions.  The challenge is slowing down long enough to be able to acknowledge what is happening and know that like all things are transient and will pass.

Learn from the lows, take advantage of and appreciate the highs, continue to work on your goals and know that all of this is okay.

We are all on an amazing journey.  Smile, breathe, stay steady as you go, and just make sure you take time to enjoy the ride.

Love, Cindy.
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