Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Baby, It's Cold Outside

So I thought that it might just be my imagination that it's harder to run in the really cold weather, but my coach (who I'll refer to as J from here on out), assures me that it actually IS harder. Lucky for me though, I was so focused on getting in my second run this week to get over the two-week beginngers' hump, that I didn't linger on the fact that the temperature said 21 degrees when I bundled up this morning. But I did make sure to wear gloves!

I told myself that this morning's run would have to be easier than Sunday's, and reminded myself of the difference between days 1 and 2 of last week. But it was still a struggle today, begging the question, will I ever learn to love running? I've heard that the first two weeks are the hardest, so I kept that thought in my head as I pounded the pavement. I didn't think about my goals of 5K or 18 miles. I didn't even think about increasing my running time next week. I just thought about getting through each 90-second interval and about how much I would love my post-run shower. I've found that my post-run shower is even better than a regular shower, and that's been a big motivator the last two runs. Sad, but true.

So what's going wrong? I chatted with J this morning, who said not to discount the weather (both the wind and the cold), but that I also should figure out if I'm running too hard during my intervals. He suggested that I check my perceived effort (PE) - to do that I'd either have to run on a track (to see how far I'm going for each 90 second interval and check whether I speed up/slow down/go about the same distance) or have a marker that I always start at, and see how far I go in that 90 seconds, checking that again on my next run to get a sense of whether I'm changing my effort run to run. So I'll be keeping an eye on that starting Friday (yay, two days off from running!) and we'll see whether it's the weather or my level of effort that's tiring me out so quickly.

On a motivational note: the other day, I printed out a quote from Elizabeth Waterstraat, a triathlon coach who's earned five national long-course championship titles and a world championship silver medal (and is the cousin of a fellow high-school alumna of mine). I put it right on my computer monitor - "Do the work. It will pay off." I could wax philosophical and talk about how this actually applies to every area of my life, but in terms of running, it's been a big help to see that throughout the day as I work. It helps me to remember that I have a goal, but I won't meet that goal without putting in the work now. So I'll just keep running...

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