Sometimes circumstances create an environment where it is beneficial to be flexible. Today was a day that required flexibility – even though it is mid-January in Northeast Ohio the temperature by 9:00 this morning was 50 degrees. Such a glorious rare occurrence, I had to run outside! Usually I would head to the gym on Saturday morning to cycle and then swim. The forecast for tomorrow is calling for rain, a perfect day to workout inside – so I switched up my workouts to take advantage of the beautiful morning.
My run itself went well, but I do feel a little fatigued running in my hilly neighborhood. It also was a little challenging to stay in my zone two without a brief walk every mile. My goal was to keep my heart rate average in the low 130′s. When ever I approached 138 I would slow my pace and if it didn’t pull back I took a brief walking break until my heart rate dropped to 120, then I would be back to my run pace.
The hardest part remains the pride issue. I am very capable of running without walking, and running at a faster pace, but my heart rate jumps into my zone three. Twice I saw other runners while I was walking and I felt I owed them an explanation for my lame walking, it was a character developing exercise to not say anything and just smile as they passed. The good news is that despite my excruciating slow pace, I still managed to keep my average pace under 13 minute miles. Just typing that was hard! I know I can run long in the 11 minute range, but it would help my ego far more than my efficiency. As I chugged along on this beautiful morning, I kept telling myself that it is making me stronger and I will see the results of my efforts within a few weeks.
Flexibility came into play in more than one way today. The good kind – changing my weekend workouts to take advantage of the beautiful weather. Then there is the challenging kind – being flexible with my expectations. Believing I am able also requires patience as I build the base to get to the next level.