Welcome to Wednesday Word, a weekly linkup for everyone, not just health and fitness bloggers.

Each Wednesday you will have a single word prompt to write about.  Let your imagination run free and share with your readers your interpretation of that word, or simply use it as inspiration for your post.

Today’s word is challenging……  I’d love to have you link up, and if you do, please remember to follow my six simple rules.



Challenging – testing one’s abilities; demanding.
“Her job is both challenging and rewarding.”



I have a tendency to push myself physically.  I equate challenging with rewarding.  The more challenging the endeavor, the more rewarding the outcome.

This became particularly evident last year when I formed a team for Ragnar DC.  I chose to be runner eight because it appeared to have some of the more challenging legs. If I was going to be part of a 200-mile two-day relay team, I wanted to push myself to my limits.

During my first 6.8-mile leg, the course gained about 1,000 feet in just 2.5 miles and lost about 1,200 feet over the last 3.5 miles. Ragnar rated the course “What the hill?” My second and third legs were 6.9 miles each and rated as hard.  Each leg had 500-550 elevation gain over segments of one to two miles. 

I finished my very first Ragnar Relay weekend feeling accomplished, satisfied, and yes, as you’ll see in this one-minute video, I made Sideling Hill my bitch!



Earlier during our summer 2014 training cycle, I watched as my MRTT running friends and I took the challenge to train the hardest we’d ever trained.  Each runner brought something unique to the table.  Some of our runners were extremely talented and fast runners, and just by running along side of them (well, actually a little behind them), the rest of us worked a little harder and got a lot faster.  A couple of us brought coaching knowledge to the team, while others brought their organizational skills. 

Together we formed the perfect team to make our workouts challenging. We organized Tuesday hill repeats, Thursday tempo runs, and Saturday long runs.  No one was willing to cut corners, and as a result, we all had outstanding summer/fall racing seasons.

As runners, we can choose to run the same speed and the same distance on every run.  If our goal is simply to get cardiovascular exercise, that type of workout is fine.  But if our goal is to get stronger, run faster, and be competitive in local races, we have to design a challenging training schedule to get us there.

And once we design that challenging training schedule, we have to be willing to commit to it 100%, and work hard to push ourselves to be the best that we can be. 

Because without the challenge, where’s the reward?


Do you prefer to take the more challenging or easier route?

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Deb Runs


Next Wednesday’s Word:  Appreciation