To say running is an addiction of mine would be a real understatement. When I started out as a hobby jogger about 15 years ago, I never would have imagined that I would someday call myself a runner. Yet after completing seven half-marathons, two 10-mile races, two 15K races, two long-distance relays and many more races at shorter distances, I can’t imagine my life without running. It makes me feel invincible and reminds me that I am capable of so much more than I ever imagined.
This past year especially, I’ve been pushing my boundaries and challenging myself to improve my running and my fitness. I’m striving to run faster, be stronger, and focus on my health. This has involved stepping up my game with Run Less, Run Faster — running only three days a week, but intensively focusing the workouts on a specific purpose (e.g., speed, tempo, distance). The preparation for my most recent 10K was definitely the most intensive training cycle I’ve ever had, but I was amazed at the improvements in my abilities. I shaved five minutes off my previous PR even though I had a cold on race day!
What’s also become clear is how crucial it is to balance out my running with other forms of fitness. I tried to ignore this truth for many years, but after a series of injuries, I couldn’t deny that my entire body had to be strong if I wanted to be a better runner. I’ve added cycling and strength training to my workout activities, and I’ve become a big fan of yoga — in particular Marianne Elliott’s 30 Days of Yoga courses to help establish a home practice. While in the sport of running you train yourself to push your body beyond its limits, in yoga you need to let go and breathe in order to get deeper into a pose. That’s a huge lesson for me, and it’s still something I struggle with. But I’ve noticed improvements in my strength and flexibility, and I find it to be the perfect counterbalance to my running.
My space for sharing these triumphs and struggles is No Apathy Allowed. Writing keeps me accountable and also continuously inspires me. You’ll find posts about my training plans, reports on the races I run, as well as the lessons I’m learning from my yoga practice. (Since I live in Germany, you’ll also find posts about my life abroad!) I’m declaring 2013 as the year of the sub-2:00 half marathon, and I’d love it if you’d follow along with the adventure!