Running is a lot harder than it looks. At least for this girl. For the past five weeks, I have diligently been arising before 6:00 each morning, going through the training for a 10K as outlined in the book, Train Like A Mother. I’ve jogged a ton of 3 mile runs, have done 30 second sprints until my thighs were cooking, and survived through “long run Saturdays.” But I just don’t get all that energized by doing this stuff. I am still waiting for that “runner’s high” to kick in. I’ve heard it is like a powerful adrenaline rush. The kind of feeling that you can’t wait to get out and run. A euphoria that stays with you every step. Instead, I wake up in a slight panic every running morning and feel like I am going to throw up for the first mile or so. I will admit, that when I am all done with my workout, I do feel like I’ve done something incredible. Relieved that I did it and proud of my accomplishment. That is what keeps me going.
This past week was particularly challenging. It seemed like everything under the sun was working against my ability to be a successful runner. This is why: 1) I got my period (yes, at 52, I still have regular periods–don’t envy me) and it was quite heavy; 2) I got a cold (an ear and chest cold that made me wheeze and cough and feel generally run down); 3) I started back to work (taxing on body and mind); 4) My sleep was erratic due to #2 and #3, 5) I got a migraine; and 6) I got two zits (I know, lame, but I thought I would throw it any way). Except for #6, these are valid excuses to not be at my best, right? I tried to follow through with my workout schedule, but it was hard.
Last Saturday, I was supposed to run 6 miles. I decided to actually go 6.2 miles, the length of a 10K, to see how I am faring. Because I hadn’t done all that great during the week, I didn’t have the stamina to do my usual routine of a first run of 2.5 miles, walk a little bit/run a little bit for a total of almost 4 miles running of the whole distance. On Saturday, it was all I could do to run 1.5 miles. I walked most of the rest of the 6.2 mile course. I finished the length of a 10K in an hour and twenty four minutes. That was running for a total of 2.5 miles and walking on and off the rest. I did walk a lot faster than I normally do for the walking parts so I guess I can count that as my increased improvement for the week. That and my spitting which has really improved. I know I have to do a lot better if I am going to finish strong in my race on September 22.
Enough complaining. Today, I decided to employ a new outlook as I begin week 6. I am going to smile while I run which I hope will in turn lift my spirits and give me confidence. And I’ve taken to complimenting other runners along the way. I tell whoever I pass, “You are doing great. You are my hero.” It makes them smile and I’ve even seen a couple of people pick up their step. So, while I may be struggling, at least I can be a cheerleader for someone else.
Have you ever had a hard time adjusting to a new goal? I welcome your comments.