Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Wednesday Workout Update - Lowered Expectations

This Saturday's 8 miler did not feel as good as last Saturday's 8 miler.  And I spent most of the run thinking "what is wrong with me? why don't I feel great?" so you can imagine how much of a head trip this run ended up being.  Instead of feeling victorious at having completed an 8 mile run, I felt disappointed.  What. The. Frack.  I mean, seriously...running 8 miles is not an easy task for most people, and I should have been proud of myself.  But, because I had the best run of my training with last week's 8 miler, I automatically assumed that this time would be equally great, and pretty much chased that feeling the entire run - and as it stayed well ahead of me, I was confounded and disappointed to never catch it.

So, what did I learn?  Running long distance is hard.  I need to lower my expectations - in fact, go into these with the only goal of getting through them.  Surviving the distance.  Making it to the finish in one piece.  Anything else is a bonus, but don't be expecting much - it's only going to get worse as the distances increase.  I know this might sound negative, but honestly, I'd rather go into a long run not expecting much, rather than feel defeated during the run.

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Monday's short run with Jeff became even shorter, because I decided to test out a pair of CW-X compression tights - I've had them for two years now, but think I only wore them once or twice before I hurt my ankle and stopped running.  But, since I had them, I thought I might want to wear them on our long runs.  Guess what?  It was like running in Spanx.  I couldn't breathe in them!  While they felt good on my legs, the breathing issue was a deal-breaker.  Good to find out on a short run vs. a long run - I think I'll try selling them on ebay and let some other poor sucker suffer with them.  Actually, I'm sure they would work fine on people who don't have the ridiculous stomach that I do.  So the 2 miler became a 1.7 miler, and I became a much happier person once I took them off.

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Yesterday, Jenny and I brought back an old tradition of running for smoothies.  This takes a little coordination on our part - we meet in the parking lot where the smoothie place is and leave one car there while we drive the other to the park; here's the crucial part - we make sure we have the key to the car in the other parking lot with us, and we start our run.  Sure, it sounds simple when you think about it, but do this early in the morning on a not-quite-awake brain, and there's a good chance for error.  The run was hot and sticky - hello humidity, I'm ready for you to be gone - but we actually ran pretty fast.  Of course, I felt like I was gonna die, but hey - it was only for 2 miles. 

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I have to tell you about our silly cat - last Thursday, Jeff was home so he ran with Erica and I.  The route loops out and then we run past our street, and for the first time, Kip was out there, waiting for us...and then he started running with us!  Now, I don't know where he roams when he's outside, but we didn't want to encourage him to go too far, so Jeff (who he obviously was chasing, as he doesn't do that when it's just me) ended up running Kip back home and then catching up with us.

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Tomorrow I'll run a nice 2 miles with Erica, and then on Saturday, we'll tackle 9 miles.  NINE MILES!!!  After the beatdown of last week's 8, I'm just going to take it easy, slow, and do the best that I can...and I'm going to be happy with that.

21 comments:

  1. You are right, you should be proud of the distances you are running. Even though I do much (and I mean much less) less distances, every time I go out it is different. Hopefully when the weather cools down a little for you it will be more comfortable to run.

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    1. And that's exactly IT - every time is different. Every. Dang. Time.

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  2. Ahhhhhhhhhhhh Kip is too cute. What a great view that must have been that he ran together with you.

    I don't wear compression tighs, no compression sock, just a good sports bra and running clothes. As long as I don't have injuries I don't need it. I sometimes even wonder if it all helps or if it's a marketing strategy just to sell very expensive socks.

    Shelley you will do fine on your 9 miler, you're going great on every distance so far, you're going to tackle this one too. No worries, I believe in you!

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    1. I guess it's an individual preference - plus, we know that so much of running is a mental thing, so if wearing compression gets you through a long run feeling good, then go for it. I just need to breatheeeeee.

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  3. OMG. 9 miles! That is forever. I have a hard time wrapping my head around that one...

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    1. What is really crazy, is if you drive the route. It's a long freaking way in a car, and yet, there you are, running it!

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  4. The only way that long runs differ from races is pace. You'll run faster during your actual race. Otherwise, it's the same rules: you'll do the best you can in the circumstances you're in. Some days you have "it", some days you don't and there's no rhyme or reason. I wouldn't call it lowering your expectations, I would just say don't put any expectations on it. Having the goal to finish the distance is great and truly is all that is important, especially during a long training run!

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  5. Too bad about what I'm sure were very expensive compression tights, but breathing is rather important. Especially when you're running. Helen's advice is so good - don't lower, rather as much as possible, eliminate expectations. Some days are good, some days are shit - in almost any endeavor. Good luck with 9 effing miles!

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    1. Luckily, I bought them so long ago that the hurt of the cost has diminished. But yeah - that whole breathing thing REALLY comes into play when you run, LOL!

      I like your "some days..." saying - I should write it on my forearm on Saturday so I can glance down and get a good reminder as we run. :)

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  6. 9 MILES!!! Eek!!!! Is there some froyo or a cupcake at the end of that road?

    I've been meaning to ask you about your training schedule. Do the in-between training runs pretty much stay the same all week (like 2 miles?) Do they increase as your Saturday mileage increases (like will they be 3 miles?) I'm wondering because of my swimming. Of course, I guess I could google 'training schedule for long-distance swimming.' Oh, its early. don't mind me.

    That's so cute about Kip running with Jeff!

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    1. Sadly, I've discovered that the more miles I run, the less hungry I am - usually for that day, and sometimes it spills over to the next day as well. However, come Monday, look out. ;)

      As for the training schedule, great question! The in-between runs do increase (they are all supposed to be by time running, not distance) as the weeks go on, but I haven't done that. Now you've given me a topic for a post, so thanks for that. :)

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  7. Yep, I think you are right in going in with lowering the bar - then anything else is gravy! You are in the minority of someone who can run that distance, don't forget that!

    And guess what? Less Than .17 Percent of the U.S. Population have run a half marathon! You are elite! :D

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    1. Bwahahahaha on being elite, but thank you for that. :)

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  8. Isn't it weird how each workout out is different, and then that colors our perception? You rock for doing 8 miles. Period.

    And not to make light of it, but had you ever watched Mad TV? They had a running segment called Lowered Expectations dating service and that is what went through my mind when I read the title of this post.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bHq12lIYJME&feature=related

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    1. YES!!! I kept singing that tune when I was writing this post, but couldn't think where it came from. Thanks for the link! :)

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  9. I'm laughing so hard a Jeff running Kip home and catching up. OH KIP!!!! So funny!

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  10. Glad you got your run done, even though you didn't feel as good as your last 8 miler. I hate that some runs are awesome and some suck, but I guess that's what makes running exciting, right?

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  11. Lowered expectations? I've realized that time isn't important...what is is covering the distance (weekly, often, over and over) without ending up with an injury. That is a huge success in my book. Uninjured runner...goal #1.

    I have some compression tights. Can't remember the brand. I would never, ever run in them. Definitely for recovery only. Especially after long runs:)

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  12. oh. I think Id totally join you in running for smoothies.
    I need that kind of carrot dangled in front of me.

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  13. I can almost feel the breeze in my hair reading this post! Enjoy your runs :)

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