Speed. Or lack thereof.

A man by the name of Eliud Kipchoge set a miraculous time last October for the distance of 26.2 miles: 1:59:40.2. It was his second attempt for a sub 2 hour marathon. To bring it in, he had to shave 1 second off each of the 26 miles. Seems easy enough, but to lose focus for that one second could add seconds to each mile instead of shaving them off.

Kipchoge did it by picking a location he felt comfortable with, in temperatures that were peak for his running and with rotating pacers to keep him focused. Since it wasn’t official race, he didn’t qualify as an official world record. But he ran 23 miles in a row at a 5:19 pace.

Seeing as how I can’t run 1 mile in 5:19, I am suitably impressed. I am not chagrined, however. When I see a runner like that, I am inspired by what we can do. I don’t feel lessened because I can’t do it.

Kipchoge was already the dominant marathoner in the world. But he thought he could do better. And he did. I can certainly improve myself in my little corner of running.

I don’t compare my times to anyone but my own. So many things play into what kind of runner we are–genetics, determination, amount of time training, where and how we train. Frankly, I don’t want to run a sub-20 5K.

I like to enjoy my races. I go for the comradery, for the different courses, and to do better than I have previously. I really don’t want to spend the money and drive time just to run for 18 (or less) minutes.

I am always trying to increase my times and have better runs. But I don’t worry that my times are as good as someone else. My nephew is a foot taller than me, has 25 years on me and loves to train. I would be nuts to try to compare my time to his.

I freely admit I like to see where I place–and I am hoping to keep it in the top quarter of the racers. I look to see how far off I was from the person above me in time. But I don’t feel competitive with their time, only with my own. Keeps me much happier 🙂

Weekly Rundown

I gave myself some goals for the new year, which I (surprisingly) have been keeping up on. One thing I wanted to do was do a longer run at least once a week. So I planned a 30 minute run weekly on the treadmill, which usually equals out to 3.5ish miles.

I also knew I needed more interval training, I have a problem slowing down, as I mentioned last week. I also hate having to time my run in minutes–so many on, so many off–since that makes me concentrate on just how long I have been running, and how much further I have to go. I am much happier not looking at the clock! Especially on a treadmill. So I made a goal to do a program on my treadmill once a week, which makes me do interval training, but I can still throw a towel over the clock and not have to pay attention.

In January I managed to do it every week 🙂

In February I am going to increase to a 35 minute run. For the interval training, I have about 30 on my treadmill, so I am just picking one at random. I haven’t repeated any yet, I am guessing it will be a while before I do. My treadmill can vary both speed and incline, so each program is a mixture of each. My legs don’t always enjoy it, but it is definitely helping!

Monday: off

Tuesday: I did a mile on the treadmill as a warmup. I used #5 incline at 6.5-7.2, which made my mile 8:37, and the hill not too bad. I cheated and only did half of my resistance training, but that is still better than none. I was squeezing it in before work, and didn’t give myself quite enough time.

Wednesday: an evening workout with my resistance training. I did set B at 1×14, and finished with yoga stretches. I had planned on a run, but I was talking to my husband as I put my shoes on. Then realized I hadn’t put my braces on. Argh. Now, I could have run upstairs, grabbed them, taken the shoes off and then back on. But I thought it would be much easier just to do the resistance training. Certainly quicker.

Thursday: off again. This is becoming a habit! I guess I need to rework my plan for the week.

Friday: the day arrived with an ice storm. I was thankful I didn’t have to go to work in it, as I have Fridays off. I got on the treadmill, doing my 35 minutes, instead of 30, at a steady 6.6 MPH for 30, then I sped up a bit for the last 5 minutes at 7-7.5. I finished with a five minute cool down walk, making the total work out 4 miles. My feet hurt–I think my sneakers are not going to be good for long distance- and I felt tired. But I was so glad I did it.

Saturday: a chilly but bright day, and I took Daisy for a walk, 1.86 in 34 minutes. It might have been a mite quicker if I hadn’t had to take pictures of all the ice. Daisy was getting frustrated that I kept stopping–now she knows how I feel about her sniffs! After we finally got back, I stretched out with Candlelite yoga for 35 minutes.

She was on the move, enjoying the fresh air

Sunday: I finished the week with the program run on my treadmill. The program ran about 1.9 miles, with speed intervals of 4.9 to 6.8 mixed with 3.0 MPH. The inclines varied from 4, 6, and 10. I will say, 10 is tough. The others I don’t notice much–most likely thanks to the hills I am surrounded by!

Weekly Rundown

As January ends and February begins, I am feeling pretty good. I also have an early case of spring fever as January was rather mild for this corner of the northeast. The horses spent most of the month sans blankets, unless we were expecting precipitation, which was just as likely to be rain as snow. I got to go out for some runs and walk Daisy, and now I just want it to be over. Too bad we have two months left. I doubt they will be as kind.

Monday: off

Tuesday: AM run on the treadmill. I only did a mile, but it was a good brisk run at 7.0 to 7.6 MPH, in 8:12, that started my day off right. I had to water the horses in the morning too, so that was a little weight lifting, right? At this time of year I have to carry two five gallon containers out–not that they always have to be full. My next barn will be closer to the house!

Wednesday: I was lazy and didn’t get up early enough to exercise. When I got home I did 2 miles on the treadmill (16:17), then my Burpees for the day. I started splitting up the types of Burpees I was doing–and in sets of 5. I did them without a break, it just seemed like less if I was only counting to five before starting over (every little bit helps). I did a push up set, then 5 jacks, 5 regular, 5 more where I was on the balls of my feet during the upright portion (up and down), and then the last 4 with push ups again.

Thursday: off again. It is rare that I take two days off in a week. But if I do, it is usually Thursday that I run out of steam.

Friday: Last day of burpees! Considering how few I actually did for the month (280), I was very happy to see them go. I took Daisy for a walk, and I tried to slow her down so we could go further. She was pretty happy to get out, so that was difficult but we did do 1.7 miles. Hopefully she will be in shape when spring hits and we can go further and further! I had decided to slow myself down as well, realizing that I was always trying to improve my time and not doing any relaxing, slower runs. I went out to the Rail Trail early–man, was it chilly–and started without a real plan. My plan for my relaxing run ended when the little Endomondo voice said my first mile was 9:26. Then the little voice in the back of my head started wondering if I could do a sub 30 minute 5K. Turns out I can-barely. 28:55. Not bad for an mid winter run.

Saturday: had a busy day planned (shopping and Star Wars with the girls), so I started it out right by taking Daisy out for a brisk walk. I knew I didn’t have a lot of time so I let her go as fast as she wanted. We did a quick mile in 17:31. Might have been a little faster if I hadn’t stopped to take pictures!

sure was a pretty morning

Sunday: warm weather again 🙂 Decided to go out for 2 miles, at an easy pace–really! Now the hills on the way out helped, but it is so hard not to speed up. I always want to push. I had to keep consciously slowing down on my return. I was fairly proud of my 2 mile run that took 22:39. I followed that with 35 minutes of relaxing, stretchy yoga. My favorite is Candlelite Yoga with Sarah Ivanhoe. Definitely makes my run sore muscles relax.

The difference a run makes….

I have to admit, I haven’t felt much like a runner recently. That is probably why I haven’t been posting much. I didn’t realize this until my run today. I mean, I ran a 30 day streak. How could I not feel like a runner?

Due to weather and lack of enthusiasm, I have been running all my miles on my treadmill (I got a new one, more on that later). It has rather reached the point that I don’t even want to go outside for my run, the treadmill is just so much easier. I have always been an outdoor runner, the treadmill was only supposed to be backup. How did this happen?

Fortunately, today was in the mid-30s. I had to go to town for all my normal weekend errands, and I decided to run on the Rail Trail while I was there. I figured it was mostly flat (easy) and they plow it (they don’t scrape down to the pavement, I discovered), so how hard could it be?

Mostly snow, a hint of pavement and a wee bit of
ice

It was probably my first outdoor run since October. Early October. And the miles outdoors are never as quick as the miles on the treadmill, which pretty much makes you run at the set speed regardless of how your legs feel, or what you are looking at, or if your lungs are blowing up. If you don’t keep the pace, you get your face rubbed by the belt. But outdoors, I have a hard time keeping a consistent pace. I tend to lollygag while sightseeing.

I really wasn’t sure how I was going to feel, so I didn’t have a real plan on speed or distance. Imagine my surprise when my app informed me my first mile was 9:43. Not bad considering I ran a loop around the lot, then dithered before stopping at my car to grab my gloves before heading down the trail.

I felt pretty good at that point, so I decided I would go out far enough to do a three mile run. But, of course, then I had to go out further. OCD is a bitch. I turned around at the two mile mark and made my goal to get back with a time under 40 minutes. I just made it (39:21).

But I feel like a runner again. Why?

I felt great the whole run. It was something I was enjoying, not something I had to do. I love nature, so being out in it relaxed me in a way the treadmill just can’t. The last mile had the most uphill grades, and the wind was pushing against me, and I had already put 3 miles behind me, but it was my fastest mile. I realized I could still do that, go out for longer runs (3.5 is the longest I have run since summer), on uncertain ground, push hard and truly enjoy every moment. That is why I run. And that is what I needed to remember.