So, today was day one after letting it all hang out there in the wind yesterday. Again, no date yet but we need to see what this old girl can put up and what my endurance and tolerance levels are in order to truly decide if the lofty goal I just set is actually doable. Last night I did some speed work on the DM at the gym but only 3 miles because it was so damn hot in the gym I had to cut it short. Today I hit the ground running intending to get my usual 3-5 miles in. Somewhere in the first mile my subconscious decided that it was going to test my tolerance a bit and my legs obeyed. My lazy pace is around a 10 minute mile. My working pace is around 9:30 and my kick ass pace is anything under 9:30 these days. If you read yesterdays post you will realize that this will not cut it if I am going to achieve that goal. Now I do know that today is day ONE and I certainly do not expect to be close to goal at this time, just looking to see where I’m at with moderate to high effort so I can gauge where to focus. So I ran 5 miles this morning. I stopped every single mile mostly to rest but after mile 1 I had to shed a layer. All the rest of 2-5 I needed to catch my breath. I knew I was pushing it and as each mile buzzed on my wrist I was pleasantly surprised to find that at about 80% effort I was running sub 9. My chest didn’t burn so I knew I was ok, my legs weren’t going to give out so I kept going and I didn’t puke so I knew I wasn’t working too hard. To my chagrin, I managed the following splits: 9:01, 8:50, 8:46, 8:35, 8:03 which not only impressed me but told me my goal is not too much of a pipe dream. I realize this was just 5 miles not 26.2 and I don’t think I could manage that pace longer than I had without serious effort at micro managing fuel, hydration and mental fortitude. The first two are easy to learn, the last one will take some serious effort which may take the help of someone who has done it before in order to bind my own “deathly hallows” to get the job done.
So I’m not in a bad place, not in the perfect place, just in a really good place right now and better situated than I originally thought to make it happen. So time + effort + adjustments + consistency are my plan. Reading a ton is about to become a bigger hobby to educate myself so I don’t hurt myself. I’m 48 not 28 and I don’t have aspirations of breaking any world records, just one goal which isn’t over inflated. I now believe in what I’m doing more than I did yesterday and hope to maintain that even on the hard days in a plan that I have yet to write down and commit to. All you need to do is want to and the rest will fall into place right?
What goals have you set that made you nervous? How did you deal with it?
I haven’t run a regular 9:15 pace in some time. I’ve accepted that I’m 20 lbs heavier but 30 lbs lighter than my lowest and highest weight. I seem to average 9:30 – 9:45 pace these days and on a given day as long as I’m not purposely going super slow that is ok with me. I ran a 5 mile race yesterday one town over from my hometown. I know the area and it’s not super hilly which is good for me. I ran this one with a friend. I didn’t actually run with her but just in the same race. We don’t have the same pace so we don’t stay together generally. As I ran this race I picked two runners that were running together. They were much younger than I but were keeping a doable pace that I thought I could maintain so I stayed with them. Mile 1 was 9:06 which I haven’t seen in a really long time. Mile 2 was 18:42 or something which was still way below the pace I thought I was going to keep. I wasn’t overwhelmed or exhausted but could definitely feel that I was pushing myself within a comfortable and moderately elevated range. I figured I would keep up with them as long as I could and if I had to slow down I would. We kept going and hit mile 3 somewhere around the 28 minute mark which was great. I wanted to turn around and wait for my friend a few times just to have my own company to run with but I knew she would get mad because every runner should run their own race. I just get lonely out there all by myself all the time in my races. Anyway, we were just about at mile 4 and I told the girls (who I wasn’t actually running with, just behind) that we were doing great. They smiled and then moved over to let me pass. I guess they were creeped out or maybe just didn’t want a tail. Either way when I passed the 4 mile mark I kicked it into gear. I wanted to run a fast 5th mile at something faster than what I had been putting down. No real reason other than that but I just set in, turned it up and kicked it into gear for the last mile. At the last turn I really pushed hard, encouraging one of the girls that won one of the age brackets to push hard in the finish. Maybe I was responsible for her taking 3rd place. Maybe. I didn’t win a medal but I did win in my mind because that mile 5 turned out to be an 8:26 mile. WOO HOO!!! I did it! I was proud of me and I think I have those girls to thank for pacing me. They might not have known they paced me but they did and I had a really good race because of them. Thank you whomever you were for not getting bent out of shape that I was on your coattails for 5 miles. It might not have been a “big” race but it made my day and sometimes that’s all that we need. So whatever your reason is, wherever you are find the ones that will help get you there and don’t leave their side. Follow their example and don’t quit and you’ll be successful in all that you do.
I really never put enough of a priority on having a strong core. I would rather run than anything and doing sit ups gives me hives. At one point I had a very strong core because I was cross training and swimming and running. This was just before my first half marathon which I finished in 2:02 and change. After that race I cut down on all my workouts and stuck to running only. I gained back 20 of the 50 lbs that I had lost which wasn’t all fat but it wasn’t all muscle either. My pace slowed down and I got lazy. It showed in how tired i was after a run, how slow I became (pushing 10 minute mile from 9) and how snug my clothes became. Recently I finally managed to work Tabata workouts into my running routine. I’ve worked arms, abs and butt. it’s only been 3 weeks but I now see it in my run stats. I am running faster without running harder. I thought that might be from running more but it is most assuredly from doing my core work and now I’m obsessed with a six pack again. I’ll take a 4 pack but getting a core of steel as much as I can at 47 is my goal. Sometimes you need to see it for yourself to understand it and believe it. Whatever it is, go get it and do whatever it takes to get there. You can do it!