Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Wednesday Workout Update - Forward Momentum

You know, I'm not the brightest bulb in the pack.  Sometimes I get into such a rut routine that I don't even stop to consider if what I'm doing is still working for me, or if there might be a better way.  Such is the case with my running lately.  I started from zero in January, doing intervals, just trying to get used to time on my feet and move my ankle through the hurting phase.  As the intervals progressed from mostly walking with a little running to more running than walking, I've kept them up, because I get so winded when I'm running.  Plus, whenever I run up a "hill" (I realize that our hills are nothing compared to what many of you face, but to me they become mountains) I practically slow down to a walk...or I DO walk.  Throw in wind, and I'm a mess.

Last week, during our run for Red Mango, it was windy.  And there was a bit of a hill during part of the run.  I was feeling pretty bad about myself because I just couldn't seem to get myself moving, much less keep moving, until we hit a straight part.  Then, running was perfection.  It felt like I could go on forever.  Of course, the wind was at my back, which helped as well.  But as we reached the end of that part and turned back into the wind and toward the hill, it dawned on me that I could get that same run - nice and flat, with no wind - on a treadmill.  And hello, the gym where I go to swim has treadmills...in fact, they have all sorts of machines!  You'd think that would be obvious to me, but please see the first sentence of this post...I go to the gym to swim.  Period.

Long story short (I know, too late), I went to the gym for my Thursday morning run.  Remembered to bring my headphones so I could actually hear the TV.  I figured out how to get everything started - it's been over a year since I've been on a treadmill, so that was quite a feat for me.  Anyway, I ran.  Nearly a mile before I walked.  And then I ran again - close to another mile.  This was exactly what I needed - it restored my confidence in my running ability.  I really can run!

Cut to Saturday.  We had four miles on the schedule.  I set Ricky Bobby for 4:1 intervals - run for 4 minutes and walk for one minute.  Jeff ran with me, and we decided ahead of time that once we hit the 3 mile marker, we'd run the entire way to the finish.  We set off and sure enough, I was feeling winded and ready for each and every one minute break.  Honestly, I wasn't happy about that - where was my conditioning?  I thought that after a couple of months, my cardio would be better than this!  I made it to the 3 mile marker and we ran.  I didn't care about my pace - my goal was to just run an entire mile without stopping.  And I did it - even put on a little competitive burst at the very end to beat Jeff, lol!  Afterward, he pointed out that all the stopping and starting I do with the intervals seems to make my tempo really jaggedy, and that's probably why I get so winded - I'm not running long enough to settle into a nice even pace...I'm just speeding up and slowing down constantly.  Huh.  When did HE become the running expert?  (I can't be the only married person who has these thoughts, right?)  Anyway, after I thought back to the times I've felt really good about running, it was always when I WAS running for a longer period.  Dang it, he's probably right!

So my theme for this week is "forward momentum" - all I want to do when I run is to keep running.  No more intervals.  Pace is not important right now; I can go as slow as I want, but I have to run, period.  Yesterday I went to the gym with the specific goal of running as close to two miles as I could before I had to stop and walk...I figured that since I'd run a mile outdoors, I could do more on a treadmill.   And?  I ran 2.05 miles (had to get in a little extra at the end - apparently I'm competitive even with just myself)!  I watched TV, I changed channels a bazillion times, I sweated up a storm - but I kept running.  And I felt fine!  I wasn't gasping for air the whole time and my legs felt really good.  This was a major mental milestone for me.  MAJOR.  I now realize that for the most part (jumping still hurts) I'm over my ankle injury.  I've recovered from it.  And I can be a distance runner once again.  Hurray!!!

17 comments:

  1. First I can see time has changed in your little part of the world because your post is up one hour earlier in my reader now :)

    I had never a doubt you will be a distance runner once again, it just takes some time.

    But I'll take wind (we don't have hills where I live) anytime over the dreadmill. Especially when you have it in your back, feels like you're flying :)

    You're getting there Shelley, one step at a time.

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  2. Shelley - this is a fantastic post! Congratulations on feeling confident about your ankle, and on overcoming the need to walk. You are really on your way!

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  3. Great post Shelley. You must be so very chuffed after all this time struggling with your injury. Is the treadmill less jarring on your joints, and ankle, when compared to road running?

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  4. Don't you hate it when the husbands are right? Doh. ;-)

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  5. Yay!! Moving along!! And yes husbands! Phoeey! lol

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  6. Run like the wind Shelley! I never doubted that you would or that you could!

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  7. Forward Momentum! Love it. I think I will use the same catch phrase. So happy for you. I'm with Helen, run like the wind.

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  8. Yes! Love those moments when you realize-- "I can do MORE, I can do BETTER than what I thought"!

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  9. Baby,we're back!!! I forgot to post about it, but last Thursday was the first time I did pushups since before the surgery. I was afraid to even try until then.

    This was really fun to read. I like the way you write.

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  10. I couldn't agree more - the first 10 minutes I run I want to stop - all.the.time. But I tell myself "this too shall pass" and once I get in the grove, my breathing is under control and my legs just move without much help from me.

    Way to go Shelley!

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  11. I think intervals are really a specific type of training that you don't have to do every time. Once or twice a week is good enough and then just tempo runs really help (said from a former runner, so take that for what it is worth).

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  12. I started running with Couch to 5K an by the end, the intervals were bugging me, it seemed so hard to start again after stopping and I could never get comfortable as when I just kept going.

    Unfortunately, I'm starting again now and doing intervals, but once a week or so, I just run for 30 min and don't care about the pace. I still find it easier.

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  13. Good for you Shelley! I actually like to run on the treadmill occasionally because it's definitely easier than running outside, and while it tends to be more boring, it's a good confidence boost. Plus, I don't know how to work my Garmin other than to start it, so it works well for speed work :)

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  14. Such a great post. Good for you - as someone once told me "just keep running - you probably aren't going to feel any worse than you do at that first mile marker".

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  15. Love this post Shelley. Keep movin' forward.

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  16. I think it's so great that you didn't think of how you could use the treadmills to RUN. :D This opened a new world! :D

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  17. Good for you, sounds like you found what you really need, and that is what is most important. I need my intervals, but they are not for everyone.

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