September 23, 2010

Bigger Picture Moments: Following the Plan

Welcome to Bigger Picture Moments, a weekly writing meme where we breathe in the moments that paint a picture of the grander scheme. All moments are welcome in this space -- small or large, as community is just as important as the grander awareness brought on by searching for a bigger picture every week.

I have always wanted to be a runner. There seems to be a freedom in running – the breeze blowing around you, the repetitive sounds of your feet hitting the pavement – running seemingly provides a momentary escape from the pressure of the world around you.

Two years ago, I was in the middle of transforming myself into a runner. I was nearing the end of Couch to 5K training plan and was a mere two weeks away from my first 5K run. And then I got injured.

Two X-ray, 1 MRI, and a few cortisone shots later, I was able to finish the race. But my knee was extremely inflamed, and my doctor advised me to take a few months off from my new found hobby.

Those few months became years. Recently, I have once again felt the urge to run. To lace up my shoes, pick a route, and just run. But my body is two years older, and has undergone changes sense then – namely given birth to a child. So once again I am following the Couch to 5K training plan.

On Monday, I was in the middle of the first day of the 4th week of the program. My training plan called for a 5 minute warm up walk, followed by a 3 minute run, a 90 second walk, then a 5 minute run, followed by a 2.5 minute walk – all of which is repeated a second time. The first set was hard – I struggled to maintain my pace, and my legs felt heavy. Three minutes into my 2nd 3 minute run, I was feeling great. I was experiencing the elusive “runners high”, so I though – I think I’ll just keep running. So I ran for another minute and then another.

My training partner looked me and said “Aren’t you suppose to walk now?”

“Nah, I am feeling good – and besides the walking segments are boring. I am just going to run the rest of the time.”

And my plan worked for a moment. And then my lungs began to feel as they were on fire. I couldn’t breathe properly. My lack of breathe lead to a cramp in my side that finally forced me to stop my workout.

Later that night as I lay on my living room floor attempting to stretch out my sore muscles, I though about my run. I realized that I had gotten so focused on the end result – RUNNING – that I had desired to abandon my training plan.

It’s something that happens to me in other areas of my life. I become so consumed with the end result, that I often miss the small steps that I need to take -- and often wind up costing myself more time.

So in the coming week, I am going to follow my training plan to the letter. And in the other areas of my life, I am going to focus on the completing the small steps that will get me to my end result.


Hyacynth said...

Yes, Kim, I totally get this. Sometimes I get so focused on the end results that I forget it's really about how I get there that matters.
Often, when I fail to care about the journey, I find myself at the end of something groaning on the floor.
Thanks for linking up your moment!

michelle said...

i am that girl. i struggle to follow a plan at all!
and there is truth to pushing too hard and overdoing it and not accomplishing what you set out to in the first place.

i am back into a running season, and so many things translate into the rest of my life.

This Heavenly Life said...

Oh -- I know this isn't exactly your point, but...I'm starting the couch to 5K training in TWO DAYS! I'm excited and nervous and doubtful, but glad to know how much you enjoy running! I hope I do too.

And I totally get being focused on the end so much that I miss the middle. Wonderful realizations -- I hope your training continues to go well!

So glad you joined in the bigger picture this week!