Friday, April 8, 2016

The Sixth 100 Miles and the Seventh . . .

“Runnin' runnin', and runnin' runnin'”

Last time I wrote about running, it was when I hit 500 miles.

It took about 10 months to run that hundred miles, which was a big improvement. And in the 13 months since I hit 500 miles, I’ve run 260 miles. In the last year and change, I’ve run two 5K’s. In-between those 5K’s I did eight weeks of physical therapy.

The first time I did a 5K in 2013, I ran it in 29:29. I was just happy to finish. That was a great time for me.  When I did my second 5K, last spring, I got my time down to 26:40, which blew me away. It was a tough race to run, colder than I was used it with wind coming off of the lake, but I got it done. This last 5K that I ran a couple weeks ago, I really wanted to improve my time. My last practice run before the race was 26:36. It wasn’t a lot quicker than my that 5K time I was trying to beat, but I figured with adrenaline, I’d run a faster time on the race day.

I ran 26:55.

I was really disappointed. The thing that people tell you running is that when you start running, your running times just get faster and faster. This is true. It’s pretty incredible going from having your fastest comfortable mile time go from 15 minutes to 10 minutes in a matter weeks. Every time I’ve taken a break from running for physical therapy or other issues, getting myself back into running shape has been an enjoyable process because improvement is noticeable. But towards the end of my training for this past 5K, I felt like I plateaued, which was frustrating.

This last 5K I was watching my time more closely than the other two 5K’s I did, and this made this experience more frustrating than fun. I simply wasn’t hitting the times I wanted to mile after mile. It took a couple hours after the race and talking to my parents to not feel so down on myself.

I took a break from running in the fall and did some physical therapy to work on my feet and ankles, which needed work to fully recovered from that 5K last Spring. I didn’t run consistently from August until February. I only ran forty miles over that five-month span compared to the forty miles I ran this past March. Getting my body back in shape after working through physical therapy and getting back to a good time, even if it wasn’t as good as I wanted, took a lot of work.

My dad talked to me about the reality of being in my mid-30s where things don’t come as easy with physical development and how we need to look beyond our running times to find success.

My parents and Diana are all really proud of me and sometimes you need to let other people’s pride overcome your own disappointments in life. No, my time wasn’t as good as I wanted, but I am proud of my training.

I’m not sure what’s next. Maybe I’ll do a 10K. It’s not beyond my ability and doing something new might help me focus more on completion, than the time. We’ll see. I’m not done with running, not sure where I’m going, but regardless of my time, I know I’m making progress.

On to mile 800.

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