Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Wednesday Workout Update - 10K Training Review

When I was writing my recap for the 10K race, I started to go down a pretty negative path, and rather than sully the race experience - which was mostly fun - I decided to save the negative talk for today - aren't you lucky?!?  LOL.  Really, it's not all bad.  But it's real, and as this blog is all about my journey (to fit!), I thought I'd share what has been a rocky road (and not the delicious kind) with my getting back to running.

I started this training program with the goal of just getting to the point of running again, which I accomplished, so that was huge for me.  But the hard thing was that while I had mostly good runs, I always felt a little behind, because not only had I already done this once before (back in 2010), I had done it better (And my gosh, I've lived in Texas too long because that sentence structure just flowed out of my mind, bad grammar and all.  Next thing you know, I'll be fixin' to run. I need a California visit, stat!).  Logically, I know it was dumb to feel that way - after all, I'm a couple years older, less fit, AND coming back from an injury.  But logic and my brain don't always coexist peacefully.  So I battled many long runs in my mind, with being the slowest person out there.  It's not like my running club is competitive - that is the antithesis of what we are - but in my head, I was competing against the RunnerShelley Version 1.0.  This new me, RunnerShelley Version 2.0, is not the same, and it was hard to accept that, week after week.  Every time that I ran a bit longer, or ran a new distance, while I was still happy about that (and being able to run, period), deep down, I was full of doubts because I just wasn't where I used to be.  DUMB, I know.  Try knowing that and still feeling it.  Oh, it's fun to be me.

I had good runs and not-so-good runs.  The longest I've run without stopping is 4 miles.  Which is really, really good!  I think part of why this ended up being so hard for me was that every week we increased our long run distance - there was never a chance to "just" run the same distance again...we were always doing more.  I am discovering that for me and my comfort level/mental health, I need to be able to say "oh, we're just running four miles?  I can do that" - it's like I need instant replay (well, a week later instant replay).  Instead, I found myself thinking "oh crap, now we've got to run XX miles..." - it was ALWAYS more, and always a challenge.  We all know that running is hard enough to do on the physical level, but for me, it was turning into a huge thing, mentally.

I am relieved that the 10K is over and done with.  I am relieved that for the next three weekends, we "only" have 5K races on the schedule.  I am really looking forward to them - they are all in town, on relatively flat courses, and I know that I can run 3.1 miles.  I like doing 5K races - this is what got me hooked on running two years ago.  And after the last few weeks, running a 5K sounds so easy!  Don't get me wrong - I know it will still be a challenge to me, but a much more doable challenge.  Most of all, though, I'm relieved that I CAN run again.  I honestly wondered if it was ever going to happen...a year is a long time to not run.  But I am a runner, and I will continue to run, and most of all, enjoy it.

32 comments:

  1. out of all of this I ZOOOMED in on the appreciation for the fact you CAN RUN again.
    (see? I somehow circumnavigated around the negative)
    I dont even love the run :) yet am so so so very ready to be able to CHOOSE not to ---not have my bod tell me no.

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    1. Yeah, what's UP with our bodies telling us "no" - it's hard enough when the mind does that!!!

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  2. Thanks for keeping it real, even when life isn't all rainbows and kittens. I'm glad you are back to running. Just as you improve with the physical aspect, I bet the mental part will come along.

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    1. But I waaannnttt rainbows and kittens!!! LOL...thanks, Kim. :)

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  3. LOL if I don't run, I'm fixin' to be late to the airport. YES! You need to visit California soon!!! Just wanted to let you know that you made me laugh at 3:58 am! I can sure relate. Not only the injury/surgery part, but also the aging part. But man, when you tell me your times, I am still in awe! So have fun on these 5K's and enjoy the marvel of running.

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  4. Good post Shelley, honest and from the heart. I do see 2 simular things between us.

    First the being slower part. Since I started to struggle with my runs about last Summer it's hard to get back to the point where I was before that. Last Spring my training went awesome, these days I'm happy when I have a good run.

    Second the increasing of the mileage. I don't like that either. I want to increase my mileage again but now I'm doing it differently. Instead of running more and more every week I go back every now and then to a distance I've run before.

    Back to you (after all this is your blog :) ) I have told you before and tell you again: I'm so happy for you that you can run again. I've been with you all the way during your injury and we all know how hard it has been for you, not being able to run. You're a runner. I think you did great this training circle and wish you lots and lots of fun with the coming 5K's. Can't wait to read the recaps and mostly see the outfits you picked out for them.

    xoxo

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    1. Thank you, Fran. I appreciate your support through all of this!

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  5. You are an inspiration! Go RunnerShelly, ANY version!

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    1. Thanks, Dana...your long walks inspire ME.

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  6. First of all, for one solid year I TOLD you that you would run again. So, I get to say I TOLD YOU SO! Right?

    Second, it's not unusual for running programs to increase long distance each week, especially when it's a 10K or Half Marathon program. It's too bad you couldn't pull on your half marathon experience to realize that these were not new distances at all.

    Third, there will be great years and really bad years followed by a pretty good year in running and maybe a great year or maybe another bad year. Running is just a beast. It's hard and most of it is mental. Getting past mental barriers - no matter the distance - is so much of what we have to do. I think I actually did peak in 2008 and it's one of the reasons why I've chosen to run but not race. Just can't seem to get past the mental barrier that every race I do will be slower than I did it before.

    Fourth the fact that you waited out the injury and the surgery and your mom's cancer surgery and all of that and still came back? MAKES YOU A ROCK STAR. No matter what your pace is, you are a rock star.

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  7. Sorry you had a difficult time with this, but it sounds like you are working through everything ... I just ran a 5K this last weekend after 2 years off running, and I went through a lot of the same thought processes... upset with myself that I wasn't where I was a few years ago, and feeling I pushed myself too hard and too fast just to run a 5K. I am training for a 10K, but I admire you for joining a running club, I don't think I could do that! I think running is so mental .. I am feeling (and trying to fight, but I don't think it is working ..) those mental blocks. Ever since I ran the 5K this weekend, I have been so depressed, feeling like I accomplished NOTHING, when in reality, it was a huge deal for me to finish the race... Way to go on not giving up and finishing the race!!!

    Jane
    http://thehealthybeehive.com

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    1. Thanks for your insight, Jane - and congratulations on finishing that 5K!!!

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  8. I am so glad you are running again. I loved this statement "logic and my brain don't always coexist peacefully". Get that for sure.

    Since this is all about me -I have trouble comparing myself to my pre herniated disk days. Back when I was 10 pounds thinner, could run and do things a little easier. Even after 2 years, I still compare. It's hard not to. And frustrating. How does one get used a new normal when I was liking the new normal I had back then?

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  9. Well I think you're doing great. Looking at your before and after pics you look stunning!! What an inspiration you are!

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  10. First let me say, I love your blog, and your journey is Rockin'...I too am in my early 40's and on a journey to healthy...I survived cancer a few years back and decided to lose the weight for good, and start running...I have done two 5k's, getting ready to do a 5miler in May and a half in Sept....I love running! Thanks for sharing your journey sweetie and I understand the mental thing, believe me...my 6 miler yesterday was much harder for me than it was a couple of weeks ago...maybe I was still tired from the 5k three days previous...probably not, it was just an off day.

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    1. Thanks for commenting, and congratulations on your running achievements after having been through cancer! I'll be reading your blog for sure. :)

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  11. p.s. following your blog now...feel free to follow back if you'd be interested in my journey! Blessings

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  12. I saw a t-shirt at a half marathon in my town last month. It said "the miracle isn't that I started. The miracle is that I had the courage to start."

    I know you will enjoy those 5k races!! Looking forward to the cute outfits that will definitely be on tap. :D

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    1. As always, thanks for your support, Biz - I appreciate your enthusiasm!

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  13. Yes, you are a runner and you better damn well enjoy it, young lady!

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  14. I totally use the phrase "I'm fixin' to" all the time, and I've never even BEEN to Texas, lol. It must be my country upbringing in Indiana, or my 30 years in Florida. :)

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  15. You are a runner. A RUNNER!
    That is so amazing to me, how people can just run and run and run!!

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  16. You go girl!! It's so hard to be patient isn't it? I am just able to do a 5K now and I can't imagine running a 10K. It seems darn far to me!! You are doing great and just continue to be patient with yourself. You'll get there :-)

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  17. It's fascinating and inspiring to read your thoughts as you regain your preinjury running level. Keep sharing. We all benefit!

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  18. You know what I have always found interesting about running? Most people who take it up are always looking to run longer races, keep challenging themselves, etc. But for me, the challenge is to *keep running*. Just, everyday, go run one, two, three miles. Every day.
    I think it's wonderful that you CAN do that, and you enjoy it. If you like doing 5Ks, why not just do them?

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  19. I so get this. I had to take time off from running and it took a long time to get my fitness back. And and when I first started running 3 years ago I was also intimidated about increasing mileage every week, I never thought I'd be able to add that extra mile. I never got confident about it, but now it doesn't bother me. I think it is great that you worked so hard to get back to running and you succeeded.

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  20. Late to the party here, but I wanted to thank you for this good, honest post. I'm just getting back to running after a year "off" when my father died, I had some major surgery and I gained 30 pounds. It's hard to be out there heavier, slower, and yes, older. Your posts encourage me and help me think thatvI can get back.

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