Friday, February 1, 2013

Stepping Outside the Comfort Zone

"Success is not achieved in the comfort zone." 
- Martin Dugard

Witnessing this sunrise was well worth getting out the door early to run.
I'll go ahead and admit that I'm notorious for being a fair-weather runner: I'm constantly rearranging my workout schedule to take advantage of the most optimal conditions or sticking to flatter terrain to yield faster paces. I usually run hard when the conditions are "right" or "ideal,"  take 1-2 days off after a long run to recover or make sure my legs were adequately "fresh" before doing one. January has been a great month of running for me, and not just because I ran record miles (second month in a row!) but mainly because I've started to step outside my comfort zone during those runs. Here's a glimpse at some of my "achievements":

  • Hard & long "dreadmill" workout (hated it but got it done) ... check

  • Running in the cold & rain (gross) ... check

  • Early morning dark run in the cold & rain (even worse) ... check

  • Sustained hill climbing of 2+ miles ("Really, do I have to??") ... check

  • Long run on tired legs (ugggh) ... check

  • Back to back long runs (it hurt!) ... check

  • Trail running at night (I'm totally terrified of the dark!) ...check

ok ... I'll admit it was sorta fun!
  • Annnnd a lot of running in the snow ...check

We celebrated the first major snow storm of the season
with a night run around town.
Running across a snow-filled drillfield at night was
one of my all time favorite experiences!
This hilly and long trail run in the snow was
tough mentally and physically. 

Many of these were more of a mental challenge than physical (i.e. 8 miles on the treadmill when I usually can only stand 4, getting out the door at 5am sans coffee and not being afraid of my own shadow). Given some of the races I have planned for this year (hellllooooo mountainous 50-miler where it could be snowing), I know these small steps will really pay dividends come race day when it comes to pushing myself mentally, physically and dealing with adverse conditions! And, of course, I have to thank my wonderful husband for his continual praise, encouragement and for pushing me through a lot of these runs! It certainly does help having a solid support system to help me push my limits.

My first big race of the year is this coming weekend and, ironically, the 7 day forecast is predicting almost perfect weather conditions ... (I hope it stays that way) ;-P



What are you doing this year to step outside your comfort zone??



1 comment:

  1. Congrats on a great month of running! Inspiring. Also I'm really enjoying your blog. Lots of great info. I tried vegan a while back, this is making me want to try it again.

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