I know the experience isn't over yet, and that I will likely learn a lot more during my actual time in Colorado, but thought it might be fun to put down a few of the things I've learned over the past few months of training.
So, without further ado…
1) Changing up your stimulus (whether it be the places you run or the people you run with – or something completely different, like ditching the ol’ Garmin) can really help pull you out of a slump and keep things exciting.
I spent last week in San Francisco. Running in a new city, with new surroundings, was pretty great. I forgot my Garmin so didn’t think about pace or distance – I just thought about exploring. I spent the Sunday morning before my conference running around the entire city. I made my way through Haight-Ashbury, along the quiet roads of Golden Gate Park, up and down some of the coastal trails that line the area and finally through the throngs of people along the tourist stroll, and while it may not have been fast and may have included a few photo stops along the way, it was probably the best 3.5-4hrs I spent in the City by the Bay.
That little break from the everyday also helped to make some of my usual routes feel a little fresher upon my return to the island. Lacing up Sunday morning to hit the trails with some new faces helped keep the motivation rolling along nicely as well.
|Sunday morning gang at Tod Inlet (aka. Partridge Hills).|
2) Victoria and the lower island have A LOT of very cool trails that are very accessible. I mean, I guess I already knew this, but when you are only hitting the trails for an easy hike every now and again, you tend to stick with the ones you know. Maybe they are close to home, or offer just enough of a challenge. Maybe the end scenery is better than the hike itself or the convenience of the trail outweighs the setting. Whatever the case, it is easy to stick with the tried and true...
But, by training for TRR I have definitely started to explore more trails in our area. It feels like you could find a different network of trails every weekend if you wanted to. Each offering something pretty unique and challenging.
Which brings me to….
3) I'm learning not to be as afraid as I once was. Fear is limiting. I don’t want to be ruled by my nerves.
Sure, I'm still probably overly cautious a lot of the time, and still stop dead in my tracks when I hear a rustle in the bushes, but I'm learning to step outside my comfort zone and am beginning to realize that lurking behind every tree isn't a bear, or a cougar, or a serial killer.
|Although, sometimes the amount of bear poo on the trail says otherwise.|
4) Not really something I’ve learned necessarily, but something I’ve noticed is that my thighs have gotten bigger. My weight through the year is pretty predictable – during triathlon season I’m usually between 5-8lbs lighter than during the winter “off season”. I’ve come to expect this change each summer.
This year, my weight really hasn’t changed much from my post-NZ holiday weight, but the shape of my legs has certainly changed, as all the hilly trails I've been hitting have definitely made them a heck of a lot stronger. Sometimes I feel like this…
|Okay, maybe I'm not quite this bad, but I could totally relate when I saw this...|
(If you are a runner and haven't read this comic by The Oatmeal yet - you must!)
Well, I'm sure there is a lot more that I've learned, but I think this is long enough for now.