Friday Five: Summer ’17 Lessons Learned

It’s Friday, so I’m linking up with Running on Happy and Fairytales and Fitness for Friday Five 2.0. The theme this week is “What I’ve Learned This Summer” (or training cycle). I’m going to go with “5 Things I Learned This Summer in Running (and Life). Believe it or not, it’s Labor Day weekend. Meteorological summer ends this weekend, so it’s time to reflect on what I learned this summer.

5 Things I Learned This Summer in Running (and Life)

1. Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result is indeed insane. For over a year, my running has been pretty flat and blah. Despite my efforts, and training, my times were getting slower and slower. I was struggling to keep up with friends and I stopped having fun. So instead of continuing to push (and doing the same things over and over), I decided to back off and run less. I ran many fewer miles and skipped races that I typically do. In August, I started doing long runs to train for NYC. It’s not easy like it has been some years, but I’m doing better and having more fun with my running.

I have a parallel story at work that I’ll spare you. Let’s just say, I’ve taken a different path at my new job that’s a lot more constructive. I’m happy to say that it’s working, too!

2. It’s OK to take a break. As I mentioned in #1, I needed a break. I ran less, said “no” to many things I would have done in the past and took more time for myself. It was a lovely summer! Rest and self care is very important. We all deserve a break and some self love.

3. Participating is as much fun as “winning.” Since I started this blog, I’ve been a pretty (locally) competitive runner. This year, my goal for all of my races was to have fun and finish with a smile on my face. I ran some of my slowest times in the last ten years. The races I ran were with friends and for fun. I enjoyed all of them – except maybe the North Shore Half (sorry Amanda!) I enjoyed the pre and post race on that one, too!

4. I’m grateful for my health and for my body (lumps and all). This summer, I had two friends experience major health crises. One was in a bike accident and one is battling an autoimmune disorder which temporarily paralyzes you. Both of these women are strong and are tremendous athletes. The former is paralyzed from the waist down and recently went home to a different life after four months in the hospital. The latter is in the hospital at this time. Both women display grace and strength in these times of adversity.

I’ve made it a personal mission to be grateful for every step I take and to appreciate my body more without criticism. It may have more lumps and bumps as I age, but it does amazing things every day.

5. My friends are amazing. Not only are the women in #4 amazing, but the community of friends who’ve supported them has been freaking fantastic. Both women have had huge communities of friends, old and new, near and far lifting them up. The generosity, support and outpouring of love has been beyond anything I could imagine. I look at these support networks of friends and I am in awe of the beauty of it.

What did you learn this summer?

Have a happy and safe Labor Day Weekend!

PS. Don’t forget my great giveaways!

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16 Comments

  1. I first heard your #1 saying from my husband shortly after we got married. I could see his point but I also argued that it was a sign of determination as well…lol. Thanks for linking up!

  2. Farrah says:

    These are all great life lessons! I’ve definitely had to change up my workout routine too, and ah, breaks are definitely nice things to be able to take! *-* (I’m hoping for one after I take my boards…by way of Expo East! ;P )

    Sending lots of good thoughts to your friends–I hope they recover soon. <3!

  3. Amanda C. says:

    Absolutely no offense taken – that half was ROUGH. Although, have two months down here with the heat and hills, I would like a redo 🙂 Big hugs!!

  4. I’m all about running for “fun” now and am even doing 3 fall races just for fun. No goals, no training, just fun running! I can’t wait.

  5. yes to all. I’m doing the same thing over and over again, but I know it is only going to get worse lol. And you are right–the women in our (your) group are AMAZING

  6. Lisa Brown says:

    I totally feel you on being grateful for your health! I’m so glad that I can travel and move around.

  7. Amy Scott says:

    After a really disappointing race last Saturday, I am just going to train and run and enjoy the process and not worry so much about times. I was getting way too caught up in it to the point it was no longer fun. Running is a great way to be with others and be healthy, but if it causes negativity and stress, well those things are not very healthy. And you’re right, there are so many people out there going through so much worse health wise, if the worst thing I deal with is a slow run, I’m pretty lucky!

  8. Coco says:

    Wow, those are important lessons. Since I’ve been focusing on cycling this summer my fall races are going to have to be for fun — mostly. 😉 I hope your friends recover soon.

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