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

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Pace Place


I'll be honest. Last night's run was a hard run. Last night was one of those nights when I wondered why I run at all. My head was pounding, my throat was dry, and all I wanted to do was go to bed early. As the running group grew pulled away and became specks way off in the distance, I tried to keep up. I saw my pace slowly drop almost a minute over two miles. I started to feel my throat close up with anxiety. I was supposed to be running my half marathon race pace and yet it felt SO HARD. I was getting pissed that I couldn't keep up with the group. I was disheartened to see my pace drop every mile. I was upset that no one wanted to run my pace. I thought about quitting or turning around and just going home.

But then I remembered that, in the end, it doesn't matter what pace I run. I'm only doing this for me. I'm doing this because I like to surprise myself. I'm doing this because I like to challenge myself. And I'm doing this because all those hard runs make the easy ones even better.

Andrea at Off Her Cork had a great post today about pace bashing. She says:

Pace bashing and negative talk is when someone says something like, “I ran 8 miles today at a 9:30 pace and that is so freaking slow! I know I can run faster than that. UGH! How could I run so slow. What a crap run.”

I was totally pace bashing myself during my run last night. What I finally realized and what finally calmed down my anxiety is that I AM running. I AM trying. And sometimes it's going to be challenging but it won't get any better if I just quit. I may not hit my goal time on my half marathon (and, to be honest, people telling me I will just puts more pressure on me that I don't like) but I will finish it and that's still pretty amazing.

And, in the end, my run last night was overall faster than my goal half marathon pace anyway and the last mile and a half was the easiest part out of the whole run. So, yeah. Take that, cruddy-feeling run. You won't get the best of me. I'll keep running anyway.


Route:--Elev. Avg:628 ft
Location:Forest Park, ILElev. Gain:+3 ft
Date:04/05/10Up/Downhill: [+22/-19]
Time:06:37 PMDifficulty:2.2 / 5.0
 64 F temp; 25% humidity
 64 F heat index; winds E 10

Distance: 5.50 miles
Speed:6.7 mph
Pace:8' 58 /mi
Elevation (ft)
Pace (min/mile)
MilePace (min/mile)Speed (mph)Elevation
actual+/- avgactual+/- avg
18' 31-0' 277.0+0.30 ft
28' 48-0' 106.8+0.1-9 ft
39' 11+0' 136.5-0.2+3 ft
49' 18+0' 206.5-0.2+7 ft
58' 58+0' 006.7-0.00 ft
end9' 13+0' 156.5-0.2+3 ft
Versus average of 8' 58 min/mile

Posted from bimactive.com


kilax said...

Okay, I will quit telling you that.

I haven't read Andrea's post yet, but I get really frustrated when people do constantly bash their pace (you know, ALL THE TIME) when really, they should be happy they are getting out there and trying at all, like you said. And most of the time, it is people who are much much faster than me ;)

I really enjoy running just as it is. Running fast seems to be a bonus. Sure, I want to run faster, of course I do! But I still have a lot of fun when I don't (maybe more fun).

I hope you feel better. Maybe it was just the cold making you feel off last night!

Kelly said...

I constantly pace bash too! I've never thought of it that way though. I try to do more positive self talk, like "at least I'm out here, even if I do have to walk, there's nothing wrong with that".

Jessica (Bayjb) said...

Wow it's funny to see you post this because i had a sucky workout last too and questioned myself. Crazy. Glad to hear it was overall pretty good though :)

Kim in MI said...

erin, thanks for this post! First, because it encourages me to know that even you have rough runs where you wonder why you're running and it just feels hard. sometimes I think if I were a "real" runner that I'd love every run and that it would seem easy. but also because I'm a pace basher. I'm discouraged to be slower than last summer and discouraged when I read others bashing paster paces than I can even dream of at this point. but I forget my goals are to keep challenging myself, to keep on running when I never thought I could. I AM running, and I'm going to keep at it. :)

Anonymous said...

I think it's so easy to get down on ourselves when we don't go as fast as we did in a previous run. It's SO hard with running because there are numerous factors (sleep, weather, muscle soreness, mood) and yet sometimes we just can't figure out why our bodies want to go more slowly! You will get there. It's good that you aren't pushing yourself, which might lead to an injury. You'll knock it out of the ball park next time! Your body will thank you. :-)

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