December 2017, Arctic Light Hotel Rovaniemi, Lapland
Last week I promised you more training and prep. stories, and apparently that also means more intentional training for me. In the aftermath of the post on Saturday, I decided to create a new habit for this winter prep. season – long run & audiobook, at least once a week.
The idea really came up just like that, after realizing I missed the better outdoor options for the weekend, like nordic skiing. Also, I don’t have enough time to read all the books I’d like, and since I also can’t read or use my time any other wise way in the long buss commute I have few days per week, I’ve though that running, while “reading” = listening audiobooks, would be an excellent solution.
I had previously signed in Strava for the November half-marathon challenge, as well as the 10k (maybe one day I should also write how much I like combining technology and sports). Then on Saturday, true to my habits, I started my run with the intention of running at least the 10k. I knew that most likely I’d run more, but setting up that minimum goal helped me to win myself with every step after the 10k.
First I did the 10k, and yes I almost finished there already, but then I realized that if I just kept going the 12k more, I wouldn’t need to stress about the challenge for rest of the month. And now the November half-marathon is done. Well done me.
Legs really didn’t like the last 10k in semi-slippery asphalt, but the mind could have kept going hours more. The book I picked for company, Option B by Sheryl Sandberg & Adam Grant, is so good (for a person who’s had her share of adversity the past years) that because of it I even had to choose active rest day for Sunday, to listen one more chapter while walking in more snowy and pretty setting (the snow comes and goes these weeks).
The best outcome of the run and the book so far is btw the same: it could always be worse. This autumn and early winter has been an option B for me in many ways, and it helps to think in how many ways think could be worse, to get through this.
When it comes to my running philosophy or training schedule, the recipe only says this: Don’t take things too seriously. I don’t have a schedule, nor training plan, and I don’t measure my heart rate with a Suunto watch (though I’d really need one of those sport watches for many other purposes). I just run because I know sitting all day is lethal and the exercise is good for me. It’s also not too of an expensive sport and it can be done quite freely whenever and whatever time I feel like it.
I’ve also realized that running is one of those personal projects I do just for myself, to feel accomplished and capable. Therefore, I have to end this with a quote from climber Sasha Digiulian. Because even though I do things like running purely for personal reasons, which sounds selfish, they make me a better person and help me grow. And that, in the end, is good for others too.
But what I have learned is that the challenges that fire me up don’t need to have significance to anyone but myself.
Oh and if you want to have more badass inspiration, see this. Afghan girls and women running in mixed-gender Bamiyan Marathon. It could definitely be worse.
Resources & data: Strava
ps. featured pic doesn’t have nothing to do with the story – stock photo from unplash