In spite of my best-laid plans to work out more and prepare healthy meals this summer, it didn’t happen. It never does. Summer is a blur of day trips, playing, and grilling. I find I am actually much healthier during the school year, a time in which every minute is at a premium and everything is planned. Last week, I actually lost two of the six pounds I gained this summer. I managed three three mile runs, two yoga classes, and a weights class. I joined the Insta-Pot cult and made healthy meals. That old advice “If you want to make sure something gets done, give it to a busy person,” radiates through me. With a turn of the calendar, I am back to being the mom and teacher who plans to the minute and gets stuff done.
I’m getting over my fear and dread of solo runs and starting to find sweetness in the solitude of being on the path with my music and my thoughts. Saturday, I went to the local park that offers a three-mile loop. It is a little hilly, and its hills are deceptively long, sneaking through slight inclines and curves. My goals were to get my time out of thirteen-minute pace and to again run without stopping. (Did I mention that I am not fast?) I slowed down a few times, remembering my coaches words that it is okay to run “barely faster than you walk.” Pushing myself, my overall pace was 12:35, only five seconds slower than my Gaspee pace at the end of my training. I left the park ecstatic!
Monday, I met up with my BRG crew leading the next session. We ran the familiar boulevard using an interval plan. Maybe I was warmed up at the end of the day and still enjoying the benefits of an earlier yoga class. Maybe it was the flatter path of dirt instead of paved concrete. I was able to pace 12:29, my fasted three-mile pace ever!
I truly believe that I was able to push myself because of the intervals. When my goal is to go nonstop, I don’t push myself for fear that I will burn out. Knowing that I had a break coming up, even if only thirty seconds, let me push myself. I find myself thinking about how to transfer this to other aspects of my life. Maybe we push ourselves further if we know we are allowed to take breaks, rest, and recover. This an important lesson for everyday life. It is also important to remember for my students and my son. When we are getting frustrated, tired, and on the verge of burnout, it is okay to rest and recover.