Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Number Obsessed and Fitness Jealousy

Total steps yesterday:  16,793
Exercise for today:  2 mile walk

Most runners I know, including myself, are very number focused people.  We're constantly chasing that next PR, adding miles to our long runs, taking minutes off our miles.  We think more than most of us would admit about 3.1, 13.1, or 26.2.  This obsession has stayed with me during pregnancy, even as the numbers I'm focused on have changed.  Now I'm focused on 25 weeks, total miles ran/walked in a week, how many minutes extra it takes me to run a mile. 

But that doesn't mean I'm not thinking about what's to come, and during yesterday's awesome run my brain started ticking away with a post-pregnancy training plan.  Depending on how long I'm out of running before Lil W arrives, I figure I can start back with Couch to 5k and New Rules of Lifting, and then once I've built back up to a 3 mile base, I can start half marathon training, and then marathon train, and then succeed in a randomly created goal to run a marathon by the time Lil W turns 1.

I think part of this ambitious plan stems from some major fitness jealousy I'm currently feeling.  On a logical level, I know that I'm doing very well and I have no reason to be jealous of those who are more fit than I am at the moment.  I also am a firm believer that we all have our own fitness journeys and strengths and that for every time I'm jealous of someone for being "better", they're just as likely to be jealous of me for doing something they couldn't do.

I'm part of a fitness message board, which is awesome and inspirational and a great group of women.  They're constantly pushing me to try harder, even if "trying harder" is defined as taking a walk rather than a nap.  But right now they're all doing such amazing things and I'm SO jealous.  Samantha destroyed the Tough Mudder earlier this month and is now killing it on improving her 5k time.  Gia's in the process of tapering down before this weekend's New York City Marathon.  Courtney is gearing back up in to triathlon training for next year's season (and has an awesome promo code right now for fitness products from all3sports.com if you want or need anything).  All of these things are so inspirational but also feel like something I'll never be able to do again, and that's frustrating.

Which is why I was so, so glad to find this new blog yesterday.  The blogger is a runner who has completed 24 marathons over the last 10 years - I couldn't find her PR, but she ran last year's Marine Corps Marathon in 3:17, so it's at least that.  She also has three kids, and an extensive section on running while pregnant.  My favorite, favorite thing about it was that she posted her mile times during some of her pregnant runs.  She had miles ranging from 9 minutes to 15 minutes (though some of those also including pushing two kids in a running stroller).  She also had a very healthy attitude on pushing yourself during pregnancy, but focusing on things other than time.  It was so helpful for me to read that someone who was as slow as I am during pregnancy could turn around and average less than 7:30 miles on a marathon.  I don't think I'll ever be that fast, but it helps me feel better about how fast I am now.  I may or may not achieve my goal of marathoning within the next 15 months, but I'm going to keep putting one foot in front of the other and at least get closer to that.

And until then, I'll just focus on living vicariously through my fitness friends, rather than being jealous of them.

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