When working towards a goal, especially a fitness-orientated goal, we find that we must challenge both our bodies and our minds. The body will learn the rhythm of the constant contracting of muscles in orchestrated movement. Your mind will repeat lyrical motivational mantras to the beat of your drumming heart.

Runners are constantly on a journey to self-improvement. We aim to run a faster mile or to run a further distance. When we challenging ourselves, we push ourselves to the limit, break those limits and raise our personal bars higher. There is always some goal to runs towards.

After finishing my first half marathon, I was planning on cutting back my mileage. I set my next long-term goal to run under 10 minute miles consistently and new I had to start getting to work. It is sometimes hard to find motivation after accomplishing a huge goal, your body still recuperating. Although I wasn’t focusing on running long distance last week, I still had rather been sore than sorry.

7 mile beach run

 

 

A nice 7-mile run along the beach the previous Saturday had my running spirit still going strong, but my knees had beginning to feel the toll of the mileage. That is when I saw the “What Do You See When You Run” photo challenge by the blog Casual Running. (Run 5 days in a row, taking the best pic of your run—later changed to 3 days.) I love the idea of setting small goals, which pushed me to continue to run, even if it was shorter miles. This challenge got me motivated to get back into my running routine and allowed me to feel and see the beauty of my runs.

 

Day 1 (Sorry, didn’t take an original pic!)

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Although I prefer running outside, I checked out the new gym by my house. I started with the elliptical, then a treadmill run, and finished with some weight training. I left feeling super strong.

Day 2

DAY 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Started this run at 5 a.m. My first mile pace was 12:25—not too bad for wiping the sleep from my eyes. By the 3rd mile, I was at a 11:55 pace, and stopped to snap a pic before finishing that mile at 10:34. Finished feeling very proud of that time.

Day 3

DAY 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I had no energy for this after work run that I begun at 8: 20 p.m. I was feeling down, but thought about how I made a commitment to running consecutively. I had a super slow 13:21 first mile, but by 2nd mile I was at a 12:11 pace. A slow run is better than no run.

Day 4

DAY 4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This was an early morning beat the sun run. I started this run 6:44 a.m., just as the sun had risen. My pace was within the 11-minute mark throughout this run. I felt strong throughout the day and my positive mindset followed me throughout the day.

Day 5

DAY 5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spartan Race run! I completed my first Spartan Race sprint, a 5K plus over 15 obstacles. The hardest obstacles included putting a band on your ankles and jumping up stairs, and climbing rope. I was nervous about the 8-foot wall climb, but mastered that. My favorite obstacle was the spear throw, although my spear made contact with the target but fell to the ground, causing me to do 30 burpees. I had to do lots of burpees and this was the hardest race I have ever entered, but I finished earned my medal!

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