glows and glums

I’m heading to college in a month, and I am ready.

(or, as ready as I can be!)

My time management skills are on point, my confidence is running high. I am less adverse to risks, more open to unpredictability.

And for all of this, I thank my gap year.

The past few months have been far from easy and predictable. I have trained relentlessly on the track only to end up with a metatarsal stress fracture, moved houses, messed up sight-reading at church, logged sketchily few practice hours for violin, and had some overdue library books.

about to read some of my writing at a bookstore. I may have brought a rubber chicken along for emotional support…

Continue reading “glows and glums”

my heart whispers, “yes, yes, yes”.

When I say “no” and convince myself that I’m too tired to keep running, my heart whispers, “yes, yes, yes”.

And when I start thinking that I don’t deserve to win or get better, my heart says, “win against time because time demands the most humility”.

When I run my best, I make time slow down, and then win against it.

And when I reach outside of myself (and abandon the “no”s and my fears), I make time slow down and I win gracefully, like a bird skimming the surface of the water.

13 December 2016

No to mindless miles, yes to mindful ones!

If you are a runner that spends time with other runners, especially those from the clan of mid- and long-distance ninjas, you might be familiar with this question: “How many miles per week do you run?”

This question seems especially popular between seasons, when runners are focused on getting ready for outdoor track or cross country. Usually, there’s a target number that a runner will aim for. It could be anywhere from 20 to 40 to 60 to upwards of 80… And generally, if you provide a greater number, your running buddies will take you more seriously. In fact, more and more kids seem to be taking pride in the number of miles that they run- it’s as if running more miles makes you as legit and superhuman as Usain Bolt.

Sorry to ruin your ego trip- But what if running more miles alone did not guarantee better times? What if running more and more miles o n l y for the sake of running miles led to injuries and fatigue and burnout? Would you still feel all macho and abs-o-steel and heroic? Continue reading “No to mindless miles, yes to mindful ones!”

How can I get better?

As soon as I made it my goal to run in college, I realized that I needed to make a plan in order to get better.

And since I needed to figure out how to get better, I figured the best way to go about creating a plan was to make a running log in order to keep track of what was working and what wasn’t working about my runs and workouts.

running log 1.0

The first week I noticed that I hadn’t been running as much as I thought I was– in fact, with 19 miles total and one off day, I was pretty tired.

So I made a goal to consistently average 30 miles each week (which I didn’t end up doing…) for cross country so that I could build up my endurance and survive the 5k.

I liked working towards my goals so much that I decided to let my goals govern the plan. That is, I was going to make sure that what I was doing each week was going to help me reach both my small goals and my big goal.

weeks 1 and 2 (July 2015) in running log 1.0

I ran out of space in running log 1.0 a couple months ago, so I have since been keeping my log online.

Keeping a log has also forced me to clearly define my goals and now challenges me to ask- what do I want out of running, and how can I get there?

running log 2.0!

Since hitting my initial goals of running in college and running specific times for certain events, I have set new goals for myself to achieve.

Having kept a running log for nearly two years means that I can look back and appreciate how far I have come from the runner (and person) that I was- it used to take me much longer to formulate plans around my goals and remain dedicated. Now that I have set a new series of (some rather daunting) goals for myself, I love to look back and remind myself that I met my goals by becoming dedicated to running (which I love) and putting in more hard work than I thought I ever would.

As I go to put my log entry in for today, I ask myself, how can I get better and meet my goals? And I realize that part of the answer is sitting right in front of me, in the notes and the numbers in my log.