Saturday, February 4, 2017

Are You Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone?

My comfort zone - road running, road cycling, swimming.  I understand these things.  I feel safe and comfortable doing these things.   So...trail running.  Shouldn't be that much of a stretch, right?  Wrong.  I'm learning lots about how different it is.  It's physically different.  And, it's definitely mentally different.

But, I think this year will be good for me.  Two trail marathons (hard ones) and one trail 50K (a relatively easy one) this spring/early summer.   How many times do we think about trying something new, only to retreat to the things we are comfortable with?    But, what can happen when we get (and stay for a while) outside our comfort zone?!

I have a client who was a treadmill runner.  She was new to running and felt safe and comfortable on the treadmill.  When I started coaching her for her first half marathon, I encouraged her to do most of her running outside.  This was scary for her, but she committed to doing it.  The latest text from her this week was asking if she could rearrange a few days of her training so she could work around her work schedule to get her runs done outside so she wouldn't be stuck on the treadmill.   It surprised me and I'm sure this change in mindset has surprised her!

The biggest change for me moving into trail running is the mindset.  I'm used to running in a fairly straight line on fairly straight-forward terrain for a long time.  I know exactly what my pace should be/will be.   I'm trying to embrace the trail running mindset a bit more.  Getting out there, exploring the terrain, understanding that I will have to hike the steep uphills, that I will not "run" the whole thing and my pace will be considerable slower than on the roads.  And, that's OK!  So far, it's been fun.  Hopefully it will still be fun when I'm close to last place in the marathon in Fruita in April!

Anyone else challenging themselves in 2017 to get out of the comfort zone?!

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