Happy Tuesday! I forgot to share a little joke/riddle alumnus Katja Goldring shared with our team on Friday:
What hurts runner’s the most? (Answer written backwards: TEEF-ED)

I completed my second ten miler, not only of the week, but also the year. Going into this run I had a plan similar but more conservative than the one at Big Smokey. As I mentioned before, this sport is unpredictable, and the run did not go as planned. I felt good this morning, and extremely confident, but my body told me otherwise- from the get-go, I felt flat. Initially, I though I just needed more time to warm-up, so listened to my body and slowed down. Three miles into the run, I began feeling a little more fresh and decided to try pushing a little. The feeling was short lived and I backed into the previous pace. I then decided to wait until we popped out onto the fire road, at about 4.5 miles and gain momentum by the hill. As planned, at around 4.5 I attempted to pick up the pace with the little group that formed with me, but I just couldn’t keep it. My cardio felt fine, but my body felt like complete gunk.

At this point of the run, I realized it was an unrealistic assumption to think I could double-ace a 10 miler in a three day span. Rather than beat myself over this realization, I decided to make the most of it and change my mindset to a “time on feet” one. At this point, I did not worry about my pace, I just wanted to make sure I could get through the run and feel good. In our team meetings-which we have every night while in Mammoth- we talked about team expectations; our coach emphasized on us appreciating every run and truly believing “there is no such thing as a bad run”. I honestly take this to heart.

Running has been the most abusive relationship I’ve ever been in (let me clear this up- the only abusive relationship). Most of my years, runs have been dreadful; each one I would mentally prepare for and spend hours getting myself to come around to them. Now, I am feeling greater than ever; yes, my shin still aches from time to time, but just being able to run without popping Advil’s nonstop has been a blessing in itself. Every run I am able to do is a great run, I’ve loved every moment, especially over the past several months.

I made sure I did not let my pride get the best of me. I was aware of the slow pace I was running, but I also acknowledged the great challenge I was overcoming by just finishing the loop. Today’s run was probably the slowest run I’ve done all summer, but just because I got out there, ran, and completed the run- I am that much stronger. I strongly believe it is important for you to stay in your own lane, you cannot invest in others if you are trying to invest in yourself. When a challenge confronts you, adjust your plan, but do not allow it to alter your self-perception. Positivity and confidence, to me is the greatest trait you can acquire, but you must continuously work at it. These two qualities are not inherited, but are created habitually.

As for the rest of the week, I would like to focus on recovery. Rather than hit the gym today, I decided to adjust my schedule and rest today since I can move that plan to tomorrow’s schedule. Tomorrow we will be doing a mini-workout on the track, but I am confident my strength will get me through it. After that workout, I am going to hit the local gym and get in a nice bike ride and weights. I would like to ace Friday’s workout, so until then I will focus on what my body is telling me and run the pace necessary for recovery. With today being September 1st, I still have a long way until I am expected to be ready; the fitness is still coming. Realistically, I still have about two months until I need to be at my top fitness- patience will be my best friend over these next few weeks.

Need a little motivation? Check out this video as well as their Facebook page for a little inspiration and self-improvement!

Just Keep Running XOXO

Ashlee Powers