Speak Kindness: Words From One Can Make Another Stronger and Speedier
Sweet words from one can make another stronger and speedier…pushing them right into a quicker pace group. Thanks to my teammates, this is exactly what happened Saturday after my run.
The past two weeks my body has felt foreign, from the inside out. I started a new medication, battled some normal life stress, and an unplanned bought of jacked up fascial tissue in my right leg brewed the perfect storm of cause and effect such as…a few re-routes on my part when it came to training… a few extra pounds…and with that the body insecurities crept in. Let’s be clear, Me…the trainer, fitness expert and blogger has struggles with confidence and self-doubt. It is times like this I try to remember to flip the script on myself.
What would I tell a friend, a client, a fellow runner coming to me for advice or encouragement? The power of kind words is not lost on me, no matter where they come from. And with that, the inner pep talk and dialogue began.
“Don’t buy in to some diet or nutrition fad. Do not cram in extra workouts to undo this temporary space you are in. Keep at it, this stressful time will settle, embrace your extra curves. Stay strong. Stay faithful to this process.”
2017 Summer Saturday’s were enjoyable and were mainly spent running long and easy at a 10-11 minute pace, discovering new territory, new trails, and as the weeks went on…even a new running partner. At times, this relaxed pace felt far from my 8:30-9 race pace. As the fall training cycle began I choose to stick with my newfound calm and informal running routine. This past Saturday, the ocean breezes and the sounds or friendly runner chatter seemed to quiet any negative voice from within.
The past few group runs, I have comfortably started each Saturday with the 10 minute pace group. Keeping the effort at just about 60-90 seconds off race pace. For fall, my A race will be leg two of the Crawlin’ Crab Relay (going for my 10K PR with the possibility of a fall half later this season as well). Each week as I settle into these runs, I steadily drop the pace about halfway through the miles to bring in a nice negative split to end the workout. Knowing that when I build more strength and speed combined with cooler temps later this fall, my Saturday runs will use the same effort and eventually start me closer to the 9 minute group. After a 9:38 average this past week, I now know it is time to move up. Weeks of running slower and more relaxed have pushed me effortlessly into the pace group ahead, 9:30 pace group here I come! Patience with myself and with this process is paying off significantly. This was a major confidence booster when I needed it most. Confidence not only in what I am doing during my running and strength training workouts, but the half marathon plan overall when it comes to pacing and distance. “Trust the plan”, those were the wise words of our coach from the week before and Saturday brought proof of that plan to fruition. This same coach spent time running side by side with me during Thursday’s tempo run. He offered encouragement and kindness in the most organic way. I know he does the same for each member of our nearly 200 person team. Leading by example, I have witnessed others share kind and thoughtful expressions with each other during tough runs. On Saturday, I had a teammate share some of their own kind words with me. The positive self-talk I had been doing to my self, had come full circle from those who happened to be running and watching nearby. The simplest compliment of “You look strong Jess” worked wonders on me as I pushed my way over the bridge and back down the boardwalk. Proof again that if you stay diligent and faithful to any positive process, the rewards will take care of themselves.
“If you see something beautiful in someone, speak it”
*Post Run Fun and Games at Murphy’s with Head’s Up*
Mile 1 10:00
Mile 2 9:42
Mile 3 9:38
Mile 4 9:30
Mile 5 9:15
Mile 6 9:04