Wednesday, August 26, 2015

I am Not a Natural Runner

Half Marathon Training Week 8:

Total Miles This Week: 27.75
Total Miles Overall: 168 Miles

Workouts Completed:
Tuesday: 4.75 Miles (4 miles slow- 10:23 avg pace, with faster intervals for last 0.75 miles- 9:56 avg pace)
Thursday: 6 Miles (1 mile slow- 10:38 avg pace, 4 miles fast- 9:48 avg pace, 1 mile slow- 10:42 avg pace)
Saturday: 5 Miles (10:42 avg pace)
Sunday: 12 Miles (10:27 avg pace)

I am not a natural runner. I read stories about people taking up running and completing their first race with minimal training or accomplishing a really fast time on their first attempt. I am not like that. Every mile I run is work. I think people read these types of stories of how "easy" running is for some people and then they go out and try and run and fail. I am the latter type...but I kept going and training and trying and now I am definitely a runner, albeit still a slower one. Wanna know a secret? I take a 1 minute walking break every 10 minutes on my runs (technically every 9, since there is 1 minute of walking in all my intervals). Running is HARD, both mentally and physically, and telling myself I only need to run for 9 minutes makes it so much easier to keep going! Also, all the times and paces I have ever posted here include that 1 minute of walking. 

Herbert the Bunny...seen on Saturday Run in Bradford

Another secret? When I started I could barely run for a minute. I had to work it up day by day (and it took me years). Which is funny to look back on now as on Sunday I ran for 2 hours and 5 minutes...which, yes, included twelve 1-minute walking breaks.

So why do I do it? Why do I go out 4 times a week and work my butt off like that? Why do I spend Sundays exhausted and icing my legs or schedule my plans around run times and weather? It is because I love hitting goals. My work doesn't have promotion opportunities or goals to hit, I'm not in school, my finances are fine, my personal life is very happy...I think on some level I missed working hard at something and that sense of accomplishment when you achieve it. I think I missed A+ report cards and gold stars, to be honest. I missed doing something hard.

View of Bradford

Running gives me that. Running says "by the end of 18 weeks, you will complete a sub 2:30 half marathon, as long as you do A, B, & C". So I am working through the alphabet day by day so at the end of all this I can hold up my medal and say "gold star for Casey".  Running, for me, also relieves stress. I don't handle stress well, but running gives me an outlet for all that pent up anxiety and irrational thoughts that come with stressful situations. I think more clearly when I'm running and I either work through a problem, put it in perspective, or I am just too darn tired to care any more when I get home. I also think that doing something productive when you are stressed makes you feel better too. Kind of like how I would obsessively clean my dorm room before an exam. 

So, even though I will never win races or run crazy long distances (like the 3100 mile race in Queens- waaaaht?) I am still a runner. And I will keep working towards new goals in running, and hopefully in other areas of my life too :). And I will finish that half marathon in 8 weeks and be proud of doing something hard! I am half way through training and getting very excited!!

About 5 miles into a 10 mile run in Toronto

1 comment:

  1. You go girl! It's so true I was just saying the other day how I missed report cards because I liked being an over achiever. You should get grades for adulting ;)


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