Happy Monday friends! Happy April! I really feel like my New Year starts in April. I turn another year older, and the languor of winter starts to dissolve. There’s no denying that Spring brings an energy of renewal.
I’m setting a few goals for myself this month Goal 1 – write more. In order to write more it means, thinking, reading, listening, slowing down. I have a whole post in my head about why sometimes it’s important to stop the hustle and take time to align. As much as I love that concept, I don’t feel like I’ve executed well on that challenge in my life. Goal 2 – time to put that into practice.
On May 6 I am running the Pittsburgh Half Marathon for the second year. This is where it all started last year. Pittsburgh was my first race. Over the last year I’ve run 5 half marathons and 1 full marathon.
I originally signed up for the Full Marathon in Pittsburgh and have been teetering back and forth on if I wanted to dedicate the time, and more importantly if my body could handle training for the full. Of course I want to run another 26.2, especially one on the road and not up the side of a mountain 🙂 , but now just isn’t the time. After a year of training, I want to keep running fun and sustainable.
It sounds crazy but spending the last year training has changed me. The change hasn’t been so much in my ultimate wants or goals, but more in my confidence and my patience when it comes to pursuing wants and goals.
I listened to a fascinating interview on the Marathon Training Academy podcast this morning with Alex Hutchinson. The theme is mind over matter. Most everyone who partakes in endurance sports, or life in general, knows that mind over matter is a powerful thing but knowing it and being able to make it work for you are two different things.
There are complex ways to look at mind over matter in exercise such as the central governor theory, which basically states that your brain will regulate your body during exercise to ensure self preservation – i.e. you won’t run yourself to death. I plan on getting Alex Hutchinson’s book Endure because research into physical limits is very interesting to me.
There are also simple ways to look at mind over matter which is what I invite you to think about today. There are numerous studies out there that show that smiling during a race can improve performance. I usually look like I’m about to die in my race photos but the one decent photo I have is from a race that I actually felt was my worst. I had a terrible race in Miami but once I stopped being competitive and reminded myself to have fun, it made a world of difference in getting to the finish line.
If you are having trouble getting to your finish line, or your starting line, or just getting through Monday, don’t underestimate the power of a smile.
Monday Listens| Portugal. The Man, Woodstock – 2107