After a slow, not very active December, I went back to RWFL with renewed vigour and enthusiasm. What I discovered over the period where I wasn’t exercising was that my body missed moving. I think I was actually craving exercise. I was also thrilled by how quickly I was able to pick up where I left off in December. After a session or two, it felt like the muscle memory took over and my pace was back.
At the end of January, I decided it was time for some goal setting. I had a bit of an epiphany about what was missing in the programme for me. Where the elastic bands had been a motivation on the field, I didn’t really have the same motivational tool for the road. Or rather the tool was there, but I just wasn’t using it.
At the back of our log books, we have a page dedicated to distance awards for each month. For some reason, I honestly never gave much thought to trying to achieve any of the distance shield stickers until late in January when the penny dropped. I overheard one of my fellow walkers talking about squeezing in an extra walk for January to get her 55 km shield. It got me thinking about whether I should be striving for stickers too. It seems so juvenile, but hey – if sticker charts work for my kids, maybe they could work for me too?
I did a quick calculation and set my sights on the 70 km shield. It was an ambitious goal considering I had only ever achieved a 55 km shield once in the preceding ten months. I worked out that strict session attendance and an additional 10 kilometre session or race might do it.
On the 1st of February we did an LSD. Not the drug (although admittedly, the drug may have been more fun!) An LSD is a Long Slow Distance. The idea is that you get your body used to being out on the road and moving for a longer period of time, and you add some distance to your training. It is meant to be a fun and non-competitive event.
You have no idea how much I over-thought this thing. I worked myself up into a frenzy about whether or not I could manage 10km with my fellow walkers, all of whom are faster than me. During a LSD, we are meant to stay together as a group and I hate the idea of holding the faster members back. What constantly amazes me is just how encouraging and non judgemental my fellow runners and walkers are. There is so much caring and kindness from the more experienced and stronger athletes. I’ve noticed this over and over again and I am teaching myself to just be open and accept. And hopefully pass on the kindness to those who are newer and slower than me (although I find it hard to believe anyone is slower than me!)
As it happened, we covered just over 11kms that day. I found the walk tough and towards the end, I was exhausted! Even lifting my legs to mount a pavement felt like a challenge in that last kilometre. I was so, so happy to get back to our meeting point in the Northgate parking lot, 110 minutes later! That ecstatic feeling is one of the reasons I keep stretching myself. We followed the walk with a endorphin filled Wimpy breakfast and although I could barely move for the rest of the day, I was incredibly proud of my achievement!
There were more highlights to my February which I will save for another post, but suffice to say, I reached my goal of a 70km shield
and I will be receiving a sticker in the back of my log book. Yay me!