Hi all, my name is Lizzy, and I wanted to share some insights into my triathlon training as we count down to Susz in July. To begin, I thought I’d share how I first really became interested in running…..
It was only a little over a year ago when I ran further than three miles (5 km) for the first time. For most of my adult life, running was something I did for a few months each year, mostly to prove I could still do it. If I could work up to running three miles, I was in decent enough shape, so I thought. I would keep running two or three times a week until boredom set in, at which point I would return to my minimally active lifestyle.
This pattern was entrenched through the better part of a decade, and year after year I confirmed that I hated to run. Real runners loved it, something to do with endorphins. I was not a real a runner. I did it because everyone needs some exercise sometimes.
Then one day I discovered something I disliked even more than running: studying Polish. I was assigned to a position in Warsaw and had intensive Polish language training for five months prior to the move. I’ve never been adept at languages, and I felt I could study constantly and it would never be enough. Running was the one break from studying that I would allow myself. I needed to study, but I could justify taking time for exercise, right? And when I was running, I wasn’t studying, and that was nice. Soon, I was running almost every day, and the runs became longer and longer. Run one more mile or return to drills on the imperfect and perfective verb forms? I think I’ll keep running….
Initially, I didn’t enjoy the runs. It was like every other time in my life when I ran – painful and boring. But I soon found that the longer runs gave me a much needed mental break. I would finish feeling refreshed. I worked up to a regular five mile (8 km) run, and soon realized that I didn’t actually dislike running anymore. I looked forward to the run itself rather than only to finishing it.
With encouragement from some good friends in Washington, DC, I ran my first race, Ukrop’s Monument Avenue 10k in Richmond, Virginia, in April last year. What a great run, but I remember how exhausted I felt, and I was sore for days. I would never have believed then that I would run three half marathons in the next 12 months and be signed up for a sprint triathlon in July. The things we can do with a little help from our friends….
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