Monday, September 9, 2013

Today's Triumph

Today was a huge triumph for me. I emphasize for me because I will completely admit I am not a runner, only in the sense that you could never tell to look at me. I am short, stocky, and
I've got hips, I mean like real hips if you know what I mean.

When we would run the mile in elementary school I was always last. As a youth whenever there was a hike I would be in the back hyperventilating trying to keep up. In high school all gym class consisted of was running circles in the gym (even on good weather days, what was up with that?) for 24 minutes non-stop, listening to The Arrow 103.5 Classic Rock. Even today when I hear songs from that station I'm thinking about running in the high school gymnasium. The most scary part for me was if you stopped you weren't going to get an A. I was not going to let gym class ruin my 4.0 GPA. So it began. I'm pretty sure anybody could walk alongside me at the pace I was jogging, and I was constantly being told by the teacher to speed it up! One guy in class (I'm ashamed to admit I don't remember his name) always encouraged me when he ran past and one day gave me breathing tips. You have no idea how much I appreciated that, thanks guy in my gym class. Always I would have phlegm build up in the back of my throat, but we were indoors, no where to spit, so I'd try to gulp it down, but it didn't always work, and yes there were a few days of running to the outside doors to throw up. Maybe it was all in my head, but 24 minutes of jogging felt like an hour of torture. The best part about that gym class though is I learned no matter how sick I felt, I could do it. I've always been able to look back on that class and find some motivation because I did something I would never have done otherwise.

January 2010 I made a goal to do a triathlon so I got a gym membership to start training. Only problem at the time is I was 8 mo pregnant with Amy. I had also never biked before, and well, now you know my running track record. After Amy was born I began religiously going to the gym. I mostly did free weights and 20 minutes of jogging every other day, but I still wasn't too sure how to go about getting in shape for a triathlon. March 2011 rolled around and I realized a year had passed and I still hadn't accomplished my goal. So I googled and found the Bountiful Tri. I was attracted to it because it's in reverse order, which meant I got to get the running part, my weakest event over with first before I was all tired out. I registered for it immediately. I knew if I didn't sign up right away I wouldn't be as dedicated to training. I already had some swimming experience from being on my high school swim team. I knew I could run, but I had never run 3 miles straight before. I had also never ridden a road bike, and I didn't own one, so I started going to a spin class.

My running training consisted of setting a goal to go 3 miles on the treadmill, however much of it I ran or walked. So at 4.2 to 4.5 mph I would jog until I couldn't breathe anymore and then walk the rest of the way, maybe sprinting when I had the last .25 miles to go. Each day I ran I tried to go longer than the day before until I did my 3 miles without stopping, but I was only going at a max of 4.5 mph. I was so happy that I finished my triathlon, and I could pass it off my bucket list. I was even happy with my 42 minute 5k, it was my best time yet and I was dead last in my age category.

So 2 years have gone by, and since then I haven't been consistent with exercising or running. I've made many schedules and plans, but never seem to stay on track for very long. I was also catching up on my favorite shows when I ran, which I think was counter-productive because as I was enjoying my favorite shows, I would be wishing I was on the couch while I watched. A few months back I was complaining to a co-worker who is a runner about how slow I am. She told me about fartlek training. I tried it the next day, and she was absolutely right. I ran faster that day than I ever had. Before that, I had been so afraid of being able to maintain a faster speed than 4.5 without stopping I never realized the benefit to alternating between running and walking. After doing fartlek for a few weeks I realized running at 5.0 wasn't so bad, and that if I continued, I could probably get faster.

Meet the birth of my goal to run a 5k with 10 minute miles. But before I could reach that goal, I had to set mini goals along the way. Meet next goal, to run 3x12 minutes miles. And today is the day! I did it! Time 35.30 My secret weapon you ask? No more Netflix on the treadmill, I started watching videos from The Motivational Man on YouTube in front of the treadmill.

Thank You Motivational Man! This made a huge impact on my endurance and it was fun! Wow I never realized how powerful mind over matter can be. You know the phrase "pep in your step"? Yeah you could say it gave me that. Next goal 3x11 minute miles!

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