Motivation Monday: Chilled-out edition

This week, in many different ways, I’m finding motivation by letting go and chilling out.

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Motivating me this week: time off from marathon-training lets me do stuff like hike Old Rag.

This started last Thursday, when my usual 8-minute-mile pace group with Pacers Silver Spring headed out for a relaxed, chatty run, saying we’d do 8:30 to 9-minute miles. I failed to start my watch, and at first, I was annoyed by my lack of pace-finding mechanisms. But then, I just sort of went with it. We cut about a block off of the end of the run and walked it in for a cool-down, and immediately tried to figure out our pace. We ran about 5.5 miles, and finished our run in about 44 minutes. Which equates to … 8-minute miles? Really? What we just did? Go figure …

Taking a lax approach to a low-key Candy Cane City 5K on Saturday had the same effect. We decided we’d be doing the race on Friday, and all I did to prep for it was take Friday off. We ate enchiladas (thanks for the recipe, Heather!) and chilled out at home on Friday night. That morning, I dug some running clothes out of the dryer, ate a Luna bar and headed to the starting line with absolutely no pace or time expectations. I just ran how I felt, and ended up with a 23:32 — 7:34-minute miles. That’s a good time for me – not a PR, but well within my “good race” range. The race itself was low-key and laid-back — no chip timing, only a couple hundred local runners racing — and that proved to be exactly what I needed after the hoopla of the Marine Corps Marathon.

Other motivations this week:

A few new songs. I am in love with “This Year” by the Mountain Goats. It was the first song on my 5K playlist, and I now have a lovely race-day memory attached to it. Also, the Yankees’ win last week has me newly in love with “Empire State” by Jay-Z and Alicia Keyes. I’ve even attached a personal motivational message to it: If the Yankees can rebound from several rough years with a beautiful season like this past one, certainly, I can overcome a single bad marathon.

The Bethesda-Chevy Chase Turkey Chase 10K on Thanksgiving. This looks to be the same kind of low-key, just-for-fun race as the Candy Cane City 5K. Though the Turkey Chase will undoubtedly be larger — roughly 7,000 people ran it last year — turkey trots always foster an atmosphere of fun rather than competition. Plus, the relatively short distance (compared to, say, tacking on 20 miles to the start) eases my mind about race-day prep. With a 10K, you can sort of just pick up and go.

A Quadballer on its way to my apartment. This fits right into the chill-out spirit of motivation — it’s a hard-core version of a foam-roller, and I can’t wait to treat myself to a pseudo-massage with it when it arrives!

Finally, this week, I’m motivated by all the stuff I feel like I can do now that I’m in between marathons. I hiked Old Rag in the Shenandoah with Steve and some friends on Sunday, and didn’t worry a bit about potential ankle twists/hip strains/workouts missed. At an amazing dinner at the Thornton River Grille in Sperryville, Va., I didn’t hesitate before ordering a glass of really awesome-looking local Chardonnay aged in steel barrels. And I actually had the time to mess around with my Web site to change the domain name, update my clips, etc.

What’s motivating you this week? Any fabulous new songs to help round out my in-progress turkey-trot playlist? Let me know by posting a comment!

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7 Comments

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7 responses to “Motivation Monday: Chilled-out edition

  1. It’s a breath of fresh air when you can have “down time”, when you’re not looking at your watch, and worrying about that glass of wine at dinner. The paces will still be there, but the mental work of always being “on” takes its toll. I’m glad you had some downtime this week; more to come, I’m sure.

  2. Hi Amy! Great race Saturday 🙂 I would kill for a 7:34 mm, lol… I’m definitely checking out the tunes you listed. Did my playlist crack you up with Britney and Salt n Pepa? I don’t think I’d listen to them in the car, but they get me moving on the road 🙂

    The wine sounds divine!

  3. mileagemayvary

    I found your site after googling MCM last week. I’m also enjoying some downtime after the race (not spending the week wondering when/where I’m going to run 20 miles is nice). I’m enjoying your blog and just wanted to say hi!
    beth

  4. trialsoftraining

    Glad you liked the Enchiladas! 🙂

    that’s a GREAT 5K race, especially considering you went in without any expectations. Those are always the *best* races for me.

    I am a big advocate of the “chilled out” approach – does wonders for running sometimes, and usually helps you really appreciate the workout. ‘

    And, lastly, new song suggestions, whoop! I always trust your music taste!

  5. Anastasia Devlin

    I always like some of the chill songs from the movie “50 First Dates” — my favorite is “Every Breath You Take” by UB40. Always gets me in a good mood, perfect for the first step of a cold morning run.

  6. my favorite new song to run to is Get Right Back (Where We Started From) by Army Navy. Love. Love. Love it.

  7. Pingback: We eat hills for breakfast: Bethesda-Chevy Chase Turkey Chase 10K « Amy Reinink

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