running realizations

7 May

Yesterday I had a good run.  I was sitting on the couch after a long day of work.  I didn’t want to go running.  I was grouchy.  My hand hurt.  I was tired (actually not super tired but enough so I used it as an excuse).  And then there was just this, “I don’t want to get off of the couch” feeling.  But I used these excuses the day before so I needed to buck up, buttercup.

So, at 7:20 pm, I got up, changed and went for it.  I have reversed my normal route, which has two really tough hills.  My hand has been hurting when running as I haven’t been wearing my ace bandage when I go.  Finally, I clued in this was a bad idea since all of the jostling wasn’t doing me any favors.  Thankfully, the less amount of hand pain offset the pain in my lungs and legs!

I also wore my new shoes outside for the first time.  At first they felt a little off in the heel area but soon they were comfortable.  I definitely can feel the higher heel drop as my piriformis acted up a bit.  I concentrated on landing mid-foot and this will need to be more of a focus.  Considering I will be wearing these for the 25k on Saturday (I don’t have a choice, the Hokas are causing blisters and my other shoes are shot), it should be interesting.

The funny part is, there were times when I was keeping some good time.  My phone would show my current pace and it would be 10:07.  I swear, lifting my knees and turning my feet over faster has completely changed my running.  HOWEVER, I don’t have the endurance/fitness to keep up with this!  I had to walk a couple of times and/or stop and catch my breath.  My overall pace was about 11:15 including these breaks.  The nice part is knowing I can hit these numbers again.  For a long time I just figured I had lost all speed and couldn’t physically do it anymore.  Realizing I simply wasn’t picking up my feet is a major boost.  Endurance and fitness can be earned the more effort I put into it.

wahoo – run fast!

Yesterday was also a moment of truth.  I did 5.75 miles.  I couldn’t get the last .25 as I got a work call otherwise I would have finished 6.  This run made me realize Saturday is going to be painful.  I’ve been fooling myself into thinking 15 miles was totally doable.  While I still believe I can finish it, I’ve adjusted my goals to comply with my current running fitness.  Here is my plan:

1.  Enjoy the run.  Last time I did this race I put SO MUCH pressure on myself and set some very unrealistic goals.  At the end I was crying because I missed the mark and was incredibly disappointed in myself.  I don’t want to repeat this.  I made sure to enjoy my Dopey experience and plan on repeating this mindset.  I’m also wearing my Minnie polka dot skirt for funsies.

Minnie mouse skirt and zen-y attitude... I'm ready

Minnie mouse skirt and zen-y attitude… I’m ready

2.  Embrace the pain – physically and mentally.  I’m preparing for it.  I have a mantra.  There isn’t anything I can do about it now so accepting it is the first step – in my opinion.  My legs will hurt and I will want to give up – I refuse to.

3.  Not go out too fast!  I’ve noticed on my last few training runs I have shot out of the cannon and then wanted to crawl through the rest of the miles.  I’m a huge fan of negative splits (aren’t we all??) so I need to keep my mind and body focused on slow and steady.

this illustrates what happens to a “T”

4.  The first three miles always suck for me.  It’s one of the reasons I’m not a huge fan of 5k’s.  It takes me this long to warm up and typically it dampens my spirit.  Thoughts like, “is this going to be how the rest of the run will be?!” bombard my brain.  Despite knowing things will get better it’s hard to get my head on track and my spirit sinks a bit.  Again, accepting this and relaxing.

5.  Realistic goals. A) Finish. B) Under 3:30.  C) Under 3:15.  D) Under 3 hrs.  I’ve decided to wear my garmin but not have it show pace.  I will keep it on regular watch mode so I can track my progress but not get caught up in the numbers.

Ha!  This is a bit of a long post.  Clearly there are some things on my mind.  I focused on running today because it’s been an up and down week and I don’t like moaning and groaning too much on here.  Or at least I don’t want to today!  Hope you enjoy your Wednesday!

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