We all have heard the expression running is a metaphor for life, but lately I have realized trail running is a metaphor for living life as a master’s runner. Let me explain….
If you weren’t aware, I love a good podcast. Recently I listened to an episode of the Running for Real podcast, featuring one of my absolute favorite trail runners, Magda Boulet. In this episode, Magda speaks about transitioning her training to that of a trail runner. For those of you who don’t know, before Magda hit the trails as a prestigious ultra-runner, she specialized at the marathon distance, namely as a 2008 Olympian. In the podcast Magda speaks quite a bit on the differences, she faced as a trail runner on a new terrain. She also spoke about what tools brought her success in ultra running. I am completely paraphrasing here, but this is my summary and after a few listens, it really resonated with me.
Trail running is about managing energy levels and stress with confidence, not a sense of guilt and shame.
Those words, completely spoke to me. In the episode she discusses running trails with patience, not always taking it fast. Most times, it is better to conserve your energy, hike the hill and use your power when it is time to push it in the race. Running with your ego, or what you think your former running self would do, can drain your resources too early. The most important part though, is to do this with confidence. Yes you may be running slower, but don’t let shame or guilt creep in. If you are strategic (even if it means not always running on the trails) it will lead you to success and enable you to reach your goals.
Then it hit me. This same struggle applies to many of us have as we age. I can only speak for myself, but so many times my mind (ok, yes ego) wants to train the same way, sleep as little as possible, and face challenges head on..not with a particular strategy. The problem is I am human; I get tired and no longer can I just plow through a workout or long run without a plan in place. If I do, it sucks. When it sucks, that can easily lead to guilt and shame.
However, when I hit the trails for a long run, with the proper fuel, proper rest, and even a mantra or two the run goes well. I have learned not to push it, but to manage the training…therein lies the difference.
The same goes for life as we age as women. Just on a basic level I have to take time to make sure I am eating right, sleeping right and hydrating more. At times this takes me away from other things in my life, but staying healthy (at what I feel is my healthy place) is a priority as it assist me with managing stress…and managing that stress with confidence. The tricky part is not letting that guilt or shame creep in, but I am working on it..
On to This week’s training recap. It was not perfect, but overall I am pretty happy with it.
Thoughts on nutrition and recovery:
As I mentioned in my last post, I am working on tracking my food cycles. This is actually hard to remember to do. I am still making the effort, but need to get in a routine. My goal is to track how I feel before and after workouts and adjust my nutrition and hydration accordingly.
Stay tuned, next week is a very special blog post and if you are a master’s runner, you won’t want to miss it.