I forgot about running fast. Lifelong runners and those who are naturally fast are already clicking on another blog to read since processing that sentence. But those of you who are working on or have worked on building endurance for longer distances (whether "long" to you means 3 miles or 30)might still be with me.
This has been a great running year for me. I PR'd in 5k, 10 mile, and half marathon distances. I ran my first, second, and third marathon (ever) in the span of five months. I became a Marathon Maniac- qualified by running the first two marathons two weeks apart. My first marathon was my fastest. (so that's a PR too.) I brought people into the running/racing culture. I made new friends who I met through our local running club who I now cannot imagine my life without. My sons all ran multiple races with me this year. I even got my husband to do a 5k mud race.
I have been training for or recovering from a marathon since February. Marathon running for me (right now and probably for the next couple of years) entails slowing my pace down and almost always running comfortably. With the exception of a couple of 5ks in the beginning of this year, I forgot that it's ok when strain and pain are involved for the entire duration of a run.
As this is now a sort-of-weight-loss-blog I ought to throw in there that I'm looking at around 132.75 lbs. It's been on the scale more than two times, so I believe it. (If I see a lower number only once, to me that doesn't count.) It's been difficult to accept less running and more lower impact aerobic exercise. (Mainly the dreaded elliptical.) Anything slow or stationary just seems to drag on and on. But because I'm doing what I'm supposed to do rather than what I want to do, I'm seeing results. And I'd like to emphasize that I am seeing real person (with a life and responsibilities and a job and other interests and occasional distractions) results- I have yet to spend more than an hour a day making a conscious effort to burn calories. I simply don't have the luxury to devote more than that to weight loss nor do I feel I "need" to.
Even though running has been mostly replaced by an elliptical, core strength exercises, resistance training, and other somewhat boring and monotonous things, I'm still a runner. I miss it and crave it. And I forgot how to challenge my body with a hard fast run since I've been in marathon training mode for a majority of this year. Two days ago during my torturous hour at the gym, I decided to treat myself to 20 minutes of running on the treadmill. If all I was getting was 20 minutes, I figured I might as well challenge myself and run fast...
I forgot how HARD it is to run fast. Actually, I forgot everything that is involved in running fast. How you have to mentally push through it the entire time, especially if it's not something that you do regularly. 2.4 miles (on a treadmill, nonetheless!) kicked my ass in a totally different way than 26.2 does. And it was thoroughly rewarding to remind my body that I can run a mile in 2+ minutes less than my normal comfortable pace. I really did forget that such a thing could even be attempted, much less achieved... And I did this with extra weight too! Check me out...
I expect to be out of the 130's by the beginning of the New Year. If that sounds easy, that's because it is... All I need to do is stay focused and keep doing what works and (ooh big shocker) I'll get results. If I don't stay focused and I don't get results, you will not read any whining or complaining or wondering why on this here blog. The ultimate goal is to bring my weight into the lower 120's for training for the NJ Marathon. But let's not think about marathons right now. Let's think about today and tomorrow and what needs to be done right now.