I’ve been training for the past few months for the Soldier Field 10 Miler. The race is only one and a half weeks away and this will be my longest race to date. I know I can finish it–I’ve already done a couple 10 mile runs, and we’ll see how my SmartCoach training plan pays off on race day.
The other night I was looking at my training plan and I noticed that most of the days are slow running days–the plan calls for lots of easy runs (that for me are about 10 min. mile paces) and long runs (that started even slower than 10 min. miles and are now around that same pace). There’s only tempo work and speed work once a week (running at about race pace (8:30ish) or slightly faster).
Then I started thinking about my own schedule for the next few months. Starting this past weekend, life is speeding up again. Here’s what it started to look like:
- May 14: Humboldt Park Dream Run then Gerald’s masters graduation
- May 15: Wedding
- May 19: Author Lisa Velthouse visiting Tyndale (so I’ll be going to Moody Radio with her)
- May 20-22: All Church Retreat
- May 23-24: Book Expo America in New York
- May 27: Youth Group Senior Night
- May 28: Soldier Field 10 Miler then wedding invitations & stuff the rest of the weekend (also need to start packing for my move!)
- June 4: Wedding reception planning meeting
- June 11: Bridal shower
- June 16: Tyndale picnic
- June 17-18: Moving day
- June 22-25: VBS; June 23: work bridal shower
- July 2: Was told to save this for some bachelorette event
- July 15-17: Bachelorette party
- July 25-29: Wedding week
- July 30: Wedding day
- August 1-6: Honeymoon
Whew! Just looking at that is exhausting and my summer is practically gone. It’s not that any of these things are bad things. In fact, they’re all exciting and things I’m looking forward to. But looking at that schedule, I don’t know how I’m going to survive all the crazyness. I almost forgot I’m going on a business trip next week (or more like didn’t realize it was next week). This is why as these next few months approach, I’m reminding myself to slow down.
Over the weekend, I ran a new 5k personal record in the Humboldt Dream Run of 24:31. That’s an average mile pace of 7:54. I’ve never run a 5k that fast in my life (and definitely not in training). That proves to me that my training is working and reaping results. I often felt silly about the plan telling me to run 3 miles at a 10 minute mile pace. I thought, “Ten minute miles? That’s so slow though!”I’ll admit that I didn’t usually run the 10 minute pace the whole time. I usually tried to pick up the pace near the end, but seeing how well I ran last Saturday, I think there’s something to be said for the slow training. I needed those slow runs to build up my endurance and energy for those quick, speedy workouts and ultimately for race day (though we’ll see what happens in my 10 mile race on May 28).
So in the small amounts of time I have where I’m not rushing around to different events, I’m going to be slowing down. This includes spending more time in prayer and reading my Bible, not going out and just enjoying some down time (I’m an introvert so this is also really important for me with all these events coming up), and just resting or maybe working on some wedding things that don’t take much thought (like putting together favors). Then when I have to step it up and go, I’ll be energized and refreshed, ready to put all my effort into everything I have going on.
Slow isn’t bad–it’s necessary. So if your summer’s looking anything like mine, remember to take some time to slow down and breathe. That way you can enjoy every single moment of the busy but good times and you won’t burn out as quickly. Maybe that means saying no to going out with friends or to volunteering and attending every church event. Maybe it means taking at least one day a week just to rest (isn’t that what God wanted with the Sabbath anyway?). Even though it’s hard for some of us to sit still and do nothing, the results will be worth it.
What does your schedule look like right now? Do you need to take some time to intentionally slow down?