Thanks to my job I've had the opportunity to join Without Limits, a personal coaching and training group. I got a training plan that culminates in a 50K relay race in January - we formed a team at work, and we'll each run 10 miles total. My real training goal, however, is the Wrightsville Beach Half Marathon, which I run every year in March. It was the race where I earned my PR in 2015 (1:56:28) and it would be nice to beat that time in 2017. Thanks to Without Limits, I might be able to!
Besides my training plan (which, like all training plans, I am following very loosely) I also get to attend track workouts. Right now I go once a week; in November I'll start going twice a week. It's a good thing they're easing me into these workouts because OH MY GOD THEY ARE SO HARD. Growing up, I wasn't a jock. I didn't run track or play volleyball or do anything even remotely physical. Most of my time was spent in a chair, reading a book. Sometimes I went to yoga. I didn't really get into fitness until I moved to Nacogdoches and joined roller derby (RIP), and then started running on my own, and then ran a lot on my own, and then moved to North Carolina and discovered kettlebell, and that's pretty much my athletic history.
Lately, though, I've not been very athletic. As I'm sure you all know, it's hard to work out regularly when you work a full time job. My mornings are spoken for, as that is my sacred writing time. If I want to do anything social or, I don't know, see my husband before bed, then my scheduled evening workout is the first thing to go. When I started going to track workouts a few weeks ago, I was exercising inconsistently and not really pushing myself - we're talking bare minimum. I needed to be shocked back into shape, and oh, I am.
For most people, the workouts are probably pretty standard. We run around the track, covering different distances (400 meters, 600 meters, 800 meters) in whatever amount of time the coach has decided we are capable of. I always think I am NOT capable of those speeds. Often I want to throw up halfway through the workout; sometimes I see stars, especially as I cross the finish line. But I do the distances, and I hit the goals. (It helps that the coach is there, calling out your time as you stumble by, helping you stay on track.)
What I love best about the workouts is the feeling, at the beginning, that there's no way I will be able to do it, and then the realization, at the end, that I did. All this time I've been making excuses, telling myself I'm slowing down because I'm getting older, because of my job, because my priorities have changed. In reality I just needed someone on the sidelines, reminding me that I'm capable of more.