(**This post is wordy and I really have no relevant pictures so please enjoy the randomness throughout.)
On Thursday, my Dad and I officially registered for the Holiday Half Marathon in Pomona on December 11. On Friday, I tackled my 8-mile run. With the half only 8 weeks away, I really need to stick to my running schedule from here on out and make sure I’m getting in those weekly long runs.
The run started out great, despite the fact that I momentarily lost all rational thought on Thursday and worked out my legs with squats and lunges. I was a little stiff starting out and it took about a mile for me to get into the groove and figure out a comfortable pace. Unfortunately, I think my pace was a little too good starting out because I finished the first half in 38 minutes. I was excited and proud, but that feeling quickly left when I realized I went much too fast in the beginning. At 5 miles, I stopped in 7-11 to fill up my handheld with Lemon-Lime Gatorade and colder water. I was so parched from a combination of the rapidly increasing heat and the dry weather that has been killing my throat and nose this past week.
At first, the Gatorade seemed to give me that every kick I really needed to knock out the last 3 miles, but at mile 6 I started feeling a little queasy. I ended up half jogging and half walking the next mile, and tried my best to push through the last. In the end, I ran 8.15 miles in 1:30 exactly (11:02 pace). I wish I could say “I’m so proud of myself for running 8 miles, it’s my longest run yet!”, but I can’t help that feeling of disappointment. I WANT to be faster. I KNOW I can run faster, but it’s such a mental thing for me. I start out feeling great. I get that runner’s high right off the bat, then I just hit a wall. It becomes a total mental battle of “It’s too hot, I can’t run in the heat” to “You won’t be able to pick the weather on race day, just keep pushing!” I gripe about everything from the sun in my eyes, to the dinner the night before. Then I tell myself to quit being a baby and shut up and run. So I run. Then I complain and walk some more. UGH.
I get so inspired reading so many other blogs, hearing about everyone’s successes at their races, reading first-time marathon and half marathon stories, reading about great long runs and PR’s. All of that is so exciting and I love being able to read about and share in the excitement of some of the people who inspired me to run. But, as great as all of that is, I think I learn the most from runners who aren’t afraid to write about a difficult run, a race that didn’t go as planned, or just any obstacle they had to overcome in order to get where they are today. Reading these stories reminds me that we all experience those crappy days, whether we run 10-minute miles or sub-4 marathons. We all have those over-the-top, feel-great, AMAZING runs and those OMG-can-this-be-over, why-did-do-this crummy moments. But one thing we all have in common is that we all keep going. We keep running and we keep training and we just keep at it because one great moment really does outweigh all the bad.
Today, I actually did the smart thing and got my leg workout out of the way well before my 9-mile run coming up this weekend. I did an easy 2 miles on the treadmill at a 10:06 pace and followed it up with this beast of a workout, inspired by (and majorly tweaked by me) Peanut Butter Fingers’ “Sure to Make You Sore Leg Workout“:
75 squats (I WILL get to 100) (30 lbs)
3 reps of 15 low rows (40lbs)
3 reps of 15 lunges each leg (30 lbs)
3 reps of 15 dead lifts (30 lbs)
Total weaksauce compared to her killer workout but it had my legs shaking like crazy and I was sweating bullets. Hopefully I can keep at this and get stronger! When I started doing strength training I could barely lift the 20 lb dumbbell, and now I can at least get the 30 lb-er up and over my head without dropping it on myself.
I think I need to get a running mantra to keep myself moving when the going gets tough. What’s your mantra, or best advice for getting past that wall?
Do you have a favorite strength training workout to share? I know nothing about weights and lifting so I just have to jot down everyone else’s workout to remember when I hit the gym 🙂