Warrior Girl Dashing…T-9 and counting


She has no trouble listening to her instincts… No she is not dead, she’s cat-napping

Down to single digits! Holy smokes!

Today’s workout brought to you by the Spartan Race Series. No really. I signed up for email workouts and today I received my first one, coincidentally, just as I was heading out to run a long obstacle course.

And what was it? Check this out:  exactly what I had planned to do yesterday.

Hill repeats.
Warm up crucial: 20 minute jog to moderate run

Find piece of wicked steep hill that takes 30 seconds of explosive power to climb.

4-12 hill repeats on 2 minutes rest.

This is puke speed, folks! POWER!”

Well, that sounds inviting, doesn`t it?  I wasn’t about to turn away from the challenge, so I hopped in my car and drove over to one of the steepest hills in town.

OK, hotshot, so whadya got?

Well, what I don’t got is a watch, so I measured distance by the heaviness of my breathing and rest time by my heart rate recovery.  My warm-up run turned out to be 2.2 km (I checked it on the odometer on the drive home) and the repeats were four 200-metre uphill runs, taking at least a minute, probably more.  To call these ascents ‘sprints’ would be a stretch, but I was running at a good, hard pace, particularly considering my advanced age and the early stage of my training.  I was pretty happy about my recovery rate, but I have to say, I wasn`t sure that I was every going to catch my breath after the last hill.

As I was running the warm-up, I percolated on what my friend had written about lying around and her friend who is so active as to require replacement parts. I certainly have my share of acquaintances who are “endurance athletes”. They participate in Ironman races, ultra-marathons, even the Death Race (go John go). I have one friend in particular who made herself so sick in a triathlon that her bowel nearly shut down.

On the other hand, we are animals, people! We are meant to move, run, jump, dance. We are also meant to listen to our instincts, to receive and respect the messages our bodies send, and I think that is where the whole thing breaks down. We tend to live in our heads. Well, let me speak for myself. I tend to live in my head. I have long since learned to tune out messages that my body is sending me: Hey, I`m hungry! Hey, time for a pit stop! Hey, would you mind not drinking quite so much coffee? It makes me feel rattled and shaky. The mind drowns it all out. Just wait. Just wait. Wait until I am done writing this letter, until this meeting is over, until we get to the next gas station. Just wait. Since toddlerhood, we’ve been taught to delay acting on these signals, or even to ignore them altogether.  We insist the body follow the mind’s schedule, or society’s schedule, instead of respecting its signals. Why else would we need alarm clocks when we have the sunrise to wake us?

Look at that cat at the top of the page. Does she seem to have any difficulty listening to her instincts? Um, no.

There must be a happy medium, a means to cultivate, unearth, rediscover, respect the messages our body sends. Huh. Too much to contemplate in one blog post! But food for thought in the days ahead.

Speaking of which, there are only ten days left on this adventure. So what is next? Yoga maybe? A return to martial arts training? Maybe just walking? Not sure, but whatever the activity is, for sure the agenda will include Warrior Girl Attempting to Listen to her Body.