This can only mean one thing . . .

Before I get started with today’s Lesson From Running I would like to share that this morning’s run was an endurance/distance run and I finished 3.62 miles in 45 minutes.

The past two days my husband and I have gone to the same gym at the same time and run side-by-side on identical treadmills.  With the exception of running speed (he’s nearly eight inches taller than me so has a longer stride length/faster running speed) we’ve followed the same training methods.

The past two days he has texted me about mid-morning saying something along the lines of “My legs are SORE!”

The past two days my reply was something along the lines of “Not mine!”

This morning I added “No pain – no gain” to my reply then thought again and added “Does this mean I’m not pushing enough?!”  To which my loving, supportive, hyperbole-avoidant husband came back with “Maybe you might need to go a bit harder…”  And without hesitation I replied “Well then I shall.”  (Yes, we actually carry on conversations like that.)

There were additional messages back and forth between us, one of which was me coming to a realization without any real thought or ‘effort’: “I need to up my running speed and stop being afraid of failing at faster paces.”

And really that’s what all my seeming ‘ambivalence’ towards my running and training since finishing my Graduation 5K back in September has been all about: Fear.

The training program was so gradual and came so easily for me, and the results of that first 5K were so fulfilling I think I’ve been a little afraid to really push myself and then be met with some colossal failure.  Which, of course, resulted in a disappointing result during my second race.

I have given myself the ‘out’ of “I didn’t sleep well last night” or “I’m not feeling 100% today” at least every other running day for the past three weeks.  When I’ve actually made it to the gym yes I’ve had A Plan and A Training Routine, but I’ve ‘cheaped out’ by following that routine at an easy, comfortable pace.  Even today when I was forced to slow down by Ye Olde Side Stitch I somehow managed to “forget” to ramp my speed all the way back up to the pace I’d been running at before slowing down.

Tomorrow is Hill Training and in keeping with the aforementioned intention to up my running speed and stop being afraid of failing at faster paces I’ll be following that training plan at a challenging 4.7 mph rather than a comfortable, ‘completely doable’ 4.2 and relish every twinge of the sore legs that will surely be the end result.

Here’s to pain bringing gain!

4 thoughts on “This can only mean one thing . . .

  1. Coincidentally, my legs aren’t so sore this morning, and while yes, today will be a day “off”, it makes for good recovery and we’ll do better tomorrow. Either hills or speed…

  2. You can do it Julianne! When I started running 3 years ago I felt the same way you did. I thought that there was no way that I could run above 5 mph for any length of time. So I did it interval style and gave myself a break if I wasn’t able to sustain a faster pace for long and told myself I would try again the next day. It took me almost 6 months but I went from running at 5 mph in 5 to 10 minutes intervals to running 6 – 6.5 mph for an entire 10K workout. I surprised myself even more this summer when I ran the 5K portion of my triathlon in 27:19 with a pace of 8:49! I never thought I could do that in a 5K let alone after swimming and biking. Celebrate all of the little milestones while training and then just see how far you can go in your next race. You will do awesome!

Thanks for your encouragement!

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