It’s funny how things work out. Sometimes the things that we dread the most, or that are the most difficult for us to endure, happen specifically to help us appreciate when things DO go our way.
Yesterday, for example? Asstacular. Just one of those days where everything went wrong. I ran late to work, forgot my fruit, ate a less-healthy-than-usual breakfast, didn’t work out in the morning but forgot I had to meet my GRE tutor after work so didn’t get a workout at all, and then ate a couple things for lunch I wasn’t happy with. On top of that, I was having a Fat Fatty Fat Day. The scale has decided to give me the wonderful gift of a couple pounds back despite my heroic efforts.
Fast forward to my drive home from tutoring: my new practice score was up almost 300 points. I was on cloud nine. I had a great dinner and slept like a baby. Then this morning I had the OPPOSITE day of last week: everything went perfect. I had a great breakfast and got to work early on a gorgeous day after a great workout.
I spent about 12 miles on the bike and a 2.7-mile run done as a baby brick. Definitely a maintenance workout, but still a breakthrough (if not in volume or intensity, then in spirit). I felt outstanding; in fact, at one point, when I looked down at my pace and saw that I was only running at marathon speed, I thought: what the hell!? I can run THIS pace for 26.2 miles, let alone 2.7! Dig in, bitch!
After my workout, I was drinking my protein/flax/veggie/fruit drink and getting ready for work when, out of nowhere, I was hit by the overwhelming realization that A)I feel dramatically different when I AM working out regularly, and B) I like it so much that (wait for it, wait for it . . . )
Racing is not a requirement of my training.
This is something I’ve never really felt. In the past, RACING kept me TRAINING. But I may not be able to afford to race a lot (or at all) once I’m a starving PhD student, and my entire outlook about the subject was piss-poor: if I can’t race, what’s the f)#(!)@ing point of training?
Now, though it sounds like a no-brainer, I’m finally at a place where I can see ways to put aside the money for the future, but even more importantly, where I can enjoy TRAINING for TRAINING. It takes off 100% of the pressure I felt about missing workouts or not doing races, and it reinforces my belief that what’s amazing about my body is how much it can do, and not how it looks. I’m not saying I’m going to stop having Fat Days, but if I’m training year-round for the sake of feeling great and making fitness progress, I’m sure it will keep those to a minimum.
Gotta tell ya – it is a very happy (and healthy) place.