A story of going from being a non-runner to planning for a marathon in three years...

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Shut Up and Run

Last night's tempo run kicked my butt. I spent the first part of it trying to figure out why I hate tempo runs so much. It's not the treadmill since I've failed at both treadmill and outdoor tempo runs. It's not the day of the week since I can do my Wednesday speedwork runs with little issue. So, I'm concluding that it must be mostly mental.

I was supposed to do one mile warm-up, four miles at between 9:25 and 9:55, and one mile cool-down. I think I ended up walking at least half a mile out of those four middle miles. I had to put the incline on the treadmill down to nothing. I struggled and struggled and almost started crying until I remembered how much energy crying takes. But somewhere in the middle of mile 5 I found a groove. Have I really become that person who takes several miles to "get into" a run?

While struggling and whimpering and debating quitting last night I felt like a failure. I just ran 8 miles on Sunday at the same speed I only had to run 4 last night. Why was it so hard? Why did I hate it so much? Why was life so horrible?! Just when I almost gave up (somewhere in mile 3 or 4....it all blurs together as one big pile of YUCK), I thought about some of my friends, both people I know in person and people I know online, who are going through rough spots in their lives. Spots much rougher than having crappy tempo runs. And I realized that I needed to stop whining and just get on with it. And I finished my run.

Yesterday (before my run) I compiled a list of my running milestones. Looking back over it today I've decided that I'm allowed to hate tempo runs. That doesn't mean I'm a bad runner. Kate asked me a few days ago how long it took me to be able to run 8 miles. I thought some of you might be interested in my running time line so far.

January 4, 2006 - Ran .5 mile on treadmill, speed unknown
February 18, 2006 - Ran 1 mile on treadmill, speed unknown
April 18, 2006 - 1.3 miles on treadmill, speed unknown
April 20, 2006 - 1 mile on treadmill, approximately 12 minutes
May 27, 2006 - 11 minute mile on treadmill
June 25, 2006 - Stuck at one mile on treadmill, can't run one mile outside
July 31, 2006 - 1.5 miles on treadmill at 11:32 per mile
April 30, 2007 - 1.5 miles on treadmill in 20 minutes
May 9, 2007 - 25 minutes on treadmill at 4.7 MPH
May 17, 2007 - 2.25 miles in 30 minutes on treadmill
June 11, 2007 - 30 minutes on treadmill at 12:45
June 21, 2007 - Ran 90% of a 5K on the treadmill in approx. 40 minutes
September 15, 2007 - 3.1 miles*
September 29, 2007 - 3.4 miles
October 2, 2007 - 4 miles
October 13, 2007 - 4.6 miles
November 18, 2007 - 5 miles
December 2, 2007 - 5.5 miles on treadmill
December 16, 2007 - 6.2 miles on treadmill
January 27, 2008 - 6.4 miles
February 9, 2008 - 7 miles
March 1, 2008 - 8.9 miles
April 5, 2008 - 9 miles -still longest to date
April 2008 - Present - nothing longer than 8 miles

*If it doesn't say "treadmill" then it means it was outside.

So, as you can see, it's been a process. I've come a long way. I just have to keep telling myself that when it gets hard.

But I still hate tempo runs.

P.S. Thanks Aaron for the link to figure out a treadmill's incline. I haven't done it yet, but it's the simplest one I've seen. So, yay!

P.P.S I've had a few other new commentors this past week. Thanks for commenting and I hope you stick around.

P.P.P.S. I didn't do my two mile run on the treadmill this morning. Let's not dwell on it.


Bayjb said...

This picture seriously cracks me up. Like beyond cracks me up. I may as well give them a $20 when I walk in.

Kate said...

Thanks for the info! I have a ways to go before I hit 8 miles. :) One other question: Which do you like better, the treadmill or running outside? I've really only ever run on a treadmill so I'm unsure how different it is to run outside.

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