Fitness Meme of the Week: You Just Get Better

Here’s my nomination for Fitness Meme of the Week:

This is the truth.
This is the truth.

It’s 100% true. The more we work consistently towards our goals, the more attainable those goals become.

I’m getting ready for my fifth year at the Mercer Island Half-Marathon on Sunday – one of the finest, if not the finest, half-marathons on the west coast. I love this race: great organization (the Mercer Island Rotary Club), great cause (colon cancer research and awareness), a beautiful course, and just an excellent overall experience.

Here’s what happened in my first four years there:

2010 – Personal Best! A big deal because this was about six months after I finally reached a healthy weight. I clocked a time I’d never imagined I could achieve.

2011 – Massive Personal Best! A number that shocked me when I looked at my watch. Six minutes faster than 2010. Whoa.

2012 – Not quite as fast as 2011, but faster than 2010 – so, #2 all-time (until the 2013 Victoria B.C. Half-Marathon, when I almost cracked the 1:50 barrier for the second time).

2013 – Injured (plantar fasciitis). Yuck. Walked the 5K so as to protect my feet for the Boston Marathon (which I ran on next to no training, plus bronchitis as an extra bonus)

And now, we come to 2014.

This is what it feels like to run a race when you're prepared to run your best. "Yaaaaaaaaaaay!" (Image courtesy of chrisroll / FreeDigitalPhotos.net)
This is what it feels like to run a race when you’re prepared to run your best: “Yaaaaaaaaaaay!” (Image courtesy of chrisroll / FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

What I love about this race is that it is NOT easy.  It is an awesome barometer of fitness. And it is a true and honest course – some hills, some undulations, lots of interesting nooks and crannies.

It will tell me exactly what pace I’m going to run in Boston, because there’s a really great formula for figuring out what you can run in a marathon by extrapolating your half-marathon time. (This is a slight oversimplification, but it’s basically two times your half-marathon time, plus twenty minutes.)

The point of this meme is this: if you train well, the race is just super-fun.

Put anther way: After the Seahawks won the Super Bowl, I tweeted this simple thought.

And that works in running, not just in football. Promise.

So if it’s hard today – whatever “it” is – just remember that you’re in training for something. And pushing through the hard parts today will make what comes next…easier.

Yesterday’s #every48 workout: SWIM – 60 minutes with the triathlon swim group. Last day with our substitute coach, a super-fit Aussie named Erin who gave us really interesting form drills (shark fins, sculling, treading water with no hands…). I’m exhausted. Thanks Erin for the fun workouts!

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