Thursday, January 27, 2011

An Incredible Machine

After an awesome training day like today I can't help but be amazed by what the human body and spirit are capable of. Just like a well oiled and finely tuned machine I awoke at 6:15 for more morning workout - despite the ThunderSnow of the previous evening here in DC. I got dressed with the faith that I would be able to put my 3 miles in outside instead of the treadmill before peering out the window. Oh, how I love DC! The streets were clear, the sidewalks were mostly clear and the temperature was in the 30's! I set out as a lone ranger in the dark of morning. The city was calm and quiet compared to other weekday mornings at 6:30am thanks to the snow. My run went very well I hit my pace and kept at it, around the white house and up Virgina Ave. to the gym.

The pool was calm with only 1 other swimmer. I was able to jump in and pound away 3x500m repeats. Awesome I PRed on my first one and kept the speed up on my 2nd and 3rd! Unlike other days the locker room was empty and calm. After a quick change I ran home so I could indulge in obnoxious amounts of Special K Red Berries! Offer me anything for breakfast, but if Special K Red Berries is on menu I'll take it! Humans are creatures of habit, maybe I am more so than others but I like what I do and it works for me. My college soccer coach used to include this quote with every summer workout book she gave us - "We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit."-Aristotle.

As habits and excellence become intertwined and as I push on towards excellence some may begin to call me crazy. At 3:00(an hour early than usual) I laced up my running shoes for workout #2 - Long Run Thursday! Sometimes I dread this day, other times I look forward to it all week long, but no matter what I love it once the long run is over. The afternoon weather was beautiful and my legs carried me 11 great miles - along the water, past the monuments, on a secluded Hains Point with wonderful wildlife and past the museums and White House. The hardest moments for me are when I have to stop due to traffic and my legs just want to keep going and going. Like a machine that has not finished it's job.

I am used to people calling me "crazy" - classmates, friends, family, strangers, little kids, everyone pretty much! Yes, I train 2x/day most days of the week. Yes I run a total of 14 miles on Thursday and swim 1 mile. I love every second of it and I am amazed every week at how my body becomes more efficient and adapts to the challenges I throw at it. Keeping the machine running well also comes with sacrifices. I have learned through trial and error, if that's what you want to call it, that I can't perform if I stay up late, drink, eat bad food, or don't train at all. Throw all of those into the mix at the same time and it takes a full week for me to rebound back to pre-latenightalcoholjunkfoodlaziness. As I set my sights high focus my desires on the goals I have set for myself I must be willing to make the sacrifices that keep the machine running.

Another part of my training that I am working on has to do with Team FCA-Endurance. I was active with FCA throughout college, as well as other campus ministries. When I got to DC I didn't have that fellowship and I started looking into options. I joined Team FCA-Endurance with hopes to join up with a local huddle, meet new people with similar passions and maybe find a training partner. Well great idea, but DC doesn't have a huddle. So I began setting out quiet time on my own and following Team FCA-E online. Last night I received an Email from a fellow FCA-E member with information about helping to start a huddle in DC. I can't wait to see how the Lord works with Endurance athletes in DC!

To achieve something you've never had, you must be willing to do something you've never done. Tri something new today, who cares if anyone calls you crazy!

I do not boast in my own abilities or believe in my own strength. I rely solely on the power of God. (taken from the Competitor's Creed


  1. HOLLI, you're so encouraging! I LOVE reading your post..and now blogs! I can't believe how long you run daily. I get absolutely tired after a 3 mile run!!, I need to step it up big time!!

    I'm glad to hear you are well girl. And I bet running through that atmosphere is beautiful!

    Keep up the great work and keep sending your posts my way bud!! I'll put your blog under my favorites! :)

    Love ya,
    Ashley Toussaint

  2. Holli- Holy cow, you make we want to run all the time. And reading your posts keeps me motivated when I don't feel like working out! You are the best! Love you and miss you!


  3. Dang this is really cool, impressive and encouraging! I am glad that losing the iron eagle to David and myself has motivated you so much!....

  4. I was just doing a google search for FCA Endurance in DC, and came across your blog! I'd love to get in touch to learn whether you've found anything out about starting an FCA endurance huddle in DC-- I looked into this last year and was dissappointed that there wasn't one. I very much enjoyed reading your post!!