35 Days into the 100 Day Challenge – PART 2

Marathon Training

 

You’ve already read Part 1 of the 35 Days into the 100 Day Challenge.

You know all about Athletic Gift-To-The-Planet sprinter & the disaster that was self-training 🙂

 

Structured training was in order, so I signed up with Team In Training, in partnership with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

 

FIRST TEAM MEET UP

First Team Meeting

Take a Seat

Like the first day of class, newcomers are invited to the weekly Track Meet. It always starts the same way: with announcements, upcoming fundraisers & occasionally, stories from Cancer survivors.

I happened to attend on the day Sam shared his story. Sam was diagnosed with Leukemia when he was 18. Remarkably, he chose to go to college while undergoing treatment. Hearing Sam’s physical & mental trials, including experimental treatment, was both inspiring and heart wrenching. This courageous man took on a full curriculum and embraced the academic & social pressures of college life, despite great adversity. Suddenly, my being unable to run 4 miles and drowning myself in sugary crap as consolation, felt incredibly lame & short-sighted.

A loud silence hung in the air after Sam finished his story, followed by “you’re very brave” and applause. Someone yelled, “Let’s Bring It In, guys!”. Turns out, this is a team huddle – with a flurried wave of hands delicately falling into a circle and fanning out over the cheer ‘GO TEAM!’. Every time we ‘Bring It In’, it’s like we silently recognize that we are all part of this fight, here to support one another, on the Track and off it.

Bring It In

Bring It In

 

35 Days into this Challenge, I’ve learned that Track Meets are not just about training, the Track is a sanctuary in many ways. Here was a group, as diverse as could be, united by one common cause: Cancer cure. Seeing my amazing team members train for their impacted loved ones made me realize this is more than just a running gig. It’s a way of solidarity and healing. It is truly inspiring and a privilege to run with you, team 🙂 You make me want to be a better person, train harder and give it my all.

 

ENDURANCE IS THE NAME OF THE GAME

It took a while to learn to run 4-5 miles, I’ve discovered this could take 40 minutes to an hour for me. Some can go faster, others a bit slower. Everyone runs at their own pace. But everyone runs the race.

Embracing this has given me peace of mind, both on the Track and off it. I’ve learnt that the real person I’m competing against is myself, and my pace. Now when I see Athletic-Gift-To-The-Planet sprinter, we acknowledge each other with a smile and nod – we’re both running our own races.

10 days in, the coaches had us run 6 miles.  Having joined late, I needed to catch up, and I trained hard during weekdays. Although intimidated, I was shocked to discover I could sustain running, with minimal walking.

20 days later, I ran 8 miles. 8 miles. Here’s what happened after.

Passed Out

Dreaming of Harry Potter fighting Gandalf. Nerd-rage dream. Come back later. PS – not kidding, I’ve actually dreamt this once. Most amazing dream ever.

 

8 miles, I’m still in shock over it. What I do know is, I now rarely look at the time when I’m on a run. I let the music go and embrace the scenery and however far my knees, ankles and legs will take me. Past the breathlessness, sweat & muscle burn – inevitably, gratitude floods me – on what a blessing it is to have health, to love & to be loved, to witness such beauty all around us and get to share it with our family and friends. What a gift it is, to be alive. And even more precious to feel alive.

It’s hard to think of doing more than 8 miles. This is also the turning point when folks get injured if they don’t take care of themselves. I have no clue how I’m going to manage the 9 mile, 10 mile, 12 mile and eventual 13.1 mile run. UPHILL. Oh Lawd, pass ‘dem cupcakes.

 

THERE’S GOOD NEWS!

On the bright side, here’s what my coaches said about carbs: “It’s not the time to cut out carbs.”

Oh snap, Don’t Cut out Carbs!!

DON’T

            CUT OUT

                               CARBS!!!!!

 

Here’s what I’m thinking:

Hallelujah indeed!

My running Mojo got me this far…. I hope it doesn’t fizzle or burn out. I worry about that. But you know what, let’s scrap the nervousness, keep at it and find out.

What’s your 100 Day Challenge to find your Mojo? What’s holding you back? What obstacles are grinding your gears?  Don’t give up!! Keep going, you can do it. If a cupcake face like me can do it, so can you!

Like we say on Track, Let’s Bring it in Team.. & Go Find That Mojo!!

 

photo credit: frog huddle via photopin (license)

photo credit: Tired of Waiting for Dad to take a Photo via photopin (license)

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