Breaking Through

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I don’t know if its a mid-life thing, but I have been breaking through many of my comfort zones lately. As painful as it can be, it is extremely gratifying on the other side.

With every step outside of the zone, I find out more about my personal strengths, my true friends and the endeavors that bring me the most joy and inner gratification.

One literal example I have of a painful comfort zone breakthrough is with running. I enjoy long, easy runs, but have always wanted to be faster. I had resigned myself to the thought that I am just a “slow runner.”

I do circuit style workouts regularly, so cardiovascularly I can run 6 to 8 miles without much trouble. I only ran 1-2 times a week, and I never ran hard, but at a nice, comfy pace. Long, easy runs only 1-2x/week does not add up to being a faster runner. I was comfortable in that place, so that’s where I stayed for quite some time.

It was time to take a step out of my comfy place if I really wanted to be faster. So, I registered for a 1/2 marathon*.

As I am endurance-oriented, the 1/2 is a motivating goal for me, but, I also needed to incorporate speedwork to break out of my “slow runner” mindset.

I hate speedwork. It makes me very uncomfortable. It hurts and I feel like I’m going to throw up. Waaaa!

But, I wanted to be faster, so I found a 1/2 marathon plan that incorporated speedwork as well as endurance runs, pulled up my big girl panties, and got started.

I am now a few weeks into my plan, and I AM faster! I can not tell you how good it feels to glance down at my watch during a 6 mile run and see I am maintaining an 8:30 or better pace(the last mile I maintained in the high 7’s!) where only a few weeks ago running at 9:00 was pushing it. I have speedwork to thank for that.

I still don’t like speedwork, and I probably never will, but I actually look forward to it, because I can’t wait to see what I’m capable of.  I don’t know that I’ll ever be a 7 minute mile runner, but every day I’m stepping out of my zone and I know I’m improving myself in more than just running speed.

Keep on keeping on!

*My 1/2 marathon is on October 5th, and I’ll be running for Down syndrome awareness in the National Down Syndrome Society Your Way Campaign. You can check out my page at: http://ndssyourway.kintera.org/faf/donorReg/donorPledge.asp?ievent=1009924&supid=389620121

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Push Harder | The Freedom Muse

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