...hopeful for a chance at that Chicago 2023 start line.
Back earlier in the year I made a lot of plans and set a lot of goals.
One of those goals was to log three and a half million steps in 2023.
I have been meeting (and by all accounts regularly exceeding) that goal and the milestones needed to reach it.
So I thought it worth noting, simply, that today on my St. Patrick's Day lunch walk with the dog (a) knowing what my total steps-to-date was as of yesterday and (b) knowing what number of steps I needed today to hit the one million mark, that about five minutes from home the dog and I took step number 1,000,000 for 2023.
Not bad for a quiet Friday afternoon in March, huh?
Anything that isn't running, is cross-training... right?
Choosing to go for a walk on my lunch break rather than sitting and playing on my phone in the break room. Cross-training.
Choosing to ride the exercise bike while I watch an episode of television instead of slouching on the couch. Cross-training.
Parking at the far end of the lot when I go for groceries and strolling that extra distance to the door. Cross-training.
It might seem like I'm stretching (also cross-training?) to index some of these things to my training account bottom line, but on the other hand it's the thousands of little choices that one makes between now and the goal date that can make a lot of difference.
As I write this I have about 250 days until the start line of the Chicago Marathon, 2023.
Let's do a little math.
Adding, say, 1000 extra steps into my day (each and every day) is not a tough request.
Over two hundred and fifty days, that's 250,000 steps.
Conservatively, it takes about 1500 steps to walk a kilometer.
So, adding just 1000 steps into my daily routine means I add an additional 166 km of walking distance into my training routine, or nearly four extra marathons of training distance.
Sure, walking isn't running, but google "is walking important for marathon training" and you'll see a lot of reputable sources mention words like foot and leg strength, stress reduction, muscle stretching, and general lung capacity as benefits of walking.
All that benefit for a few extra steps.
My personal goal is to average ten thousand steps per day, that arbitrary goal that so many people strive for. It's an average though. Some days I'll walk twice that. Other days I'll do much less.
But of course it's the little choices that get me from a sad five thousand steps each day to a happy ten. Walking the long way to the office bathroom. Parking a bit further from the door at the mall. Going for a walk while I'm waiting for someone or something. Little things add up.
Everyone loves a good list, and after four previous rounds of my blogging extravaganza “week of lists” posts, I’ve pretty much confirmed the old (if slightly modified) adage: If you write them, they will come. Again, seven days, seven lists: and this time the topic honours my starting-this-week marathon training efforts for the summer of 2013, locked in step and stride on this, the week of lists number five, the Twenty-6-Point-Two Miles Edition.
Alright, so I missed my eidtorial deadline by a couple days. Forgive me. I was supposed to have posted this article on Saturday, but it was only half-written and I wasn’t entirely happy with it. Then… welll… life happened. A beautiful day, an invite to a party, some good food and drinks.
Sunday morning I ran a half marathon… and promptly fell asleep on the couch, my mind awash in feelings of “OMG! What am I doing? What ever made me think I could do a full marathon if I feel like this after a half?” Well, never mind that I was near-death sick last week and had a beer or two more than one rightfully should twelve hours before a race. Never mind that it was hot and hilly and I pushed myself for a better time than I trained for.
In this post I want to talk about just that sort of thing. You know… the:
6 Mental States You Will Encounter While Training
1 : Clarity
Everything is perfect. Your goals are all out on paper. Your training plan leaves you months of lead time. You have you eyes on the prize, as it goes. You are clear and focused.
counting the klicks in painful footfalls
2 : Loneliness
Then it hits you fifteen kilometers into a training run or a trial race, plodding along on the open asphalt, counting the klicks in painful footfalls as you canter slowly towards your goal: sometimes you are doing this solo. Sometimes you are very alone on that dusty road.
3 : Hopelessness
There is a punch to the brain-pan that comes unexpectedly one morning. You wake up the day following a big run, sore, achy all over, overwhelmed and broken. The thought of taking one more step is depressing, let alone the thousands more you are destined to run that evening and the millions before you reach your finish.
4 : Affirmation
Poof: the little white angel on your other shoulder appears and reminds you of how far you’ve come and the choices you made. You are re-energized, re-invigorated, and you push a little bit harder knowing that it’s those who sacrifice who win.
You are temporarily invincible…
5 : Narcissism
Your pride tips a little too far. You get cocky and sure. You are temporarily invincible and you judge yourself against others, for better or worse and usually for worse. But who cares? You’re fast and lean and…
6 : Triumph
Everything just fits one day. A fast run. A sure distance. A solid pace. A strong set of legs and no pain. It all clicks together, and you are ready to race.