This blog is now retired. My new site is at: Predictably Irrational.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Endurance Not Speed

My first post of the new year. It's been awhile. Let's make this a habit.

I love running. The past few years, I still run, just not on a tight schedule as I did when I was racing a lot...with a running coach. Sigh. I miss those days.

I try to explain to CJ, who I 'strongly encourage' (aka force) to do track in the Spring, that just because I love running doesn't mean I go out and _gleefully_ run. I love it but it's hard. It's hard to do and especially, to be motivated to get going. But once I do, I'm still not, like, WOO-HOOing, during the run. But the high at the end...and sometimes, during...yeah, that's a great feeling.

But there's something wonderful about running for me...during the run. I love the cadence. I love how my body feels, even if I'm complaining. I love the mental strength to keep myself going. I love that I _can_ keep going. I love the option to stop whenever I want but the bargaining I do with myself to get to a certain point. I love the focus. It's just a great thing.

I haven't written much about my running mainly because my running hasn't been regular, nor have I been training for anything. Well, technically, I have/should be training for races but I end up not showing up for them. Just money going straight to charity without me participating.

But I hope I don't make that another case with the Rock-n-Roll marathon coming to Raleigh in April. I'm doing the half marathon. I'm not ready to double the desired 13.1 miles. Not on my bucket list (a marathon) although I don't have it out of the question.

Fortunately, a few of my favorite people have signed up too, so I'm not at a loss for (good) peer pressure to get out there and run.

I started my exercise and runs last week. My last run was September 29, where I put in an awesome six mile run, in preparation for a five mile race just a couple weeks away. I didn't show up for the race. And I didn't run again after that.

Since my half is nearing and I've been procrastinating, I started running with my regular running buds, Audrey Podrey and Melisa. We got an easy two miles in one day, I did another two miles in two days later, then put my "long" run in that Sunday with three miles.

This week, I only got one run in during the week - a 'speedy-for-me' with another Melissa, Jenian, and Nancy. So, an unexpected tempo run. :) Melissa, who is also doing the half (as well as Jenian, Melisa, and Nancy), sent me (and others) her training plan and reminded us that we had a *five* mile run this weekend. Hmmm...five miles? I barely got three in last weekend...and while I got three in this past week, it was not easy trying to keep up with speedy Nancy and Melissa.

So I got up, did some stuff (like helping Tim lift a 600 lb. double-oven), then decided: OK. I'll see how far I can get. Looked at the temperature. 28 degrees. WTF?? I am not a fan.

By the time I got my shit on and together, the temperature got to 30 degrees. The run to the lake made me re-think if this was such a good idea. My nose was feeling the effect of the chill and the wind. I wondered if it would get frostbitten.

But I moved on and managed to get to the lake, where the miracle of apartment buildings and trees blocked most of the wind from freezing my nose off. I had the company of Marilyn Manson, Grouplove, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, and Alex & Sierra, plus my constant counting to 100, to keep my mind occupied as I looped the 2.20 mile lake twice, and then some, to get to five miles.

And that, my friends, made me very happy. I went non-stop and I thought: how the hell did I do that when I could barely get three miles in last week? I had a decent pace - I wasn't going at the speed of a fast walk. And with each mile, I was getting a few seconds faster, except the last one, even though I thought I was faster but it was faster than the average pace for the first three miles.

So, I may not be as fast as I had been during those years of racing, running regularly, with those amazing speed workouts, but the endurance is still there.

Now...if I can just keep up this regiment...and show up for the race.

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