Sunday, March 29, 2009

Too much thinking?

Week 7 is over, and it took me two days to get up the energy to write my post-run blog!  After Wednesday's run, Coach J told me I was thinking too much and that's what was causing all my running issues.  I'm more inclined to think it was injury, but he's the coach, so I decided to listen to him.  So when my alarm went off bright and early Friday morning, I put on my running clothes, pulled on my sneakers, grabbed my music and headed out.  I figured after my five minute warm up, I would put the timer on 25 minutes and just focus on running.  

That would have worked perfectly except for the pain in my foot, which slowed me down again and meant a couple of short walking breaks in the middle.  But I must admit that overall, the run was better than Wednesday's run - the weather was gorgeous, already 43 degrees when my alarm went off.  The sun was shining, and its warmth definitely made me happy to get out there and stretch my legs.  I could tell that despite the pain in my foot, the rest of my body was feeling good and getting stronger. So I was more frustrated about my foot than anything, and hoping that two recovery days would make the difference.  

I think my body knew that I was taking Saturday and Sunday off, because although I was hobbling around most of Friday and icing my foot, when I woke up Saturday morning, I was pain free!  Since then, I've felt a few twinges every once in a while, but I've taken a few walks with the puppy and run around doing errands, and it's felt pretty good.  So I'm hoping that when I head out tomorrow morning for my first 28-minute run that I'll be able to just run and enjoy it! 

So since this is supposed to be my "end of the week" post (even though it's really the beginning of week 8), let's take a look at what I've learned this week:

- A bad day running is better than a good day not running: It's official, I love running.  I never thought I'd say it, but there it is.  I'm thinking like a runner; I look at warm spring days as days I could be enjoying the weather by running; I'm even dreaming about running; I get excited about other runners' races and am focused on finding my first 5k, which I'm sure won't be my last.  I'm definitely hooked.  As one runner told me last week "I crave it." Despite my best efforts to have a lifelong hatred of running, I now understand what she means.

- I've actually inspired someone else to start running! A college friend started running on Sundays after reading my blogs and is now up to running 30 minutes at a time.  She's now fitting in runs during the week and thinking about a 5k in May.  I think she might be hooked too!  It's very cool to have motivated someone else to start running and it keeps me pushing myself further each time too.

- There's no better feeling than pushing your limits and surpassing them.  When I first started this journey from couch potato to 5k seven weeks ago, I wasn't looking past the first 60 seconds of running.  I suppose a part of me thought that I could run longer or I never would have tried the plan, but I've given up pretty easily a number of times before, so I didn't think far ahead enough to see myself running 25 minutes at a time (without a lot of breaks anyway).  Getting up to running 25 minutes, and tomorrow, 28 minutes, shows me that I can do more than I thought was possible.  I read a number of runners/triathletes' blogs and I talk to Coach J (I've linked to his twitter page so that I can help him build his "empire" of twitter followers) a lot and sometimes their level of training seems so intense and well beyond what I am possibly capable of.  But I used to think that 25 minutes of running was well beyond my capability too.  So I just keep going back to what Liz Waterstraat said "Do the work. It will pay off."  With that attitude, I know I'll be ready for the 18-mile LBI race in October!  And it looks like they've finally posted the 2009 race information. I'll let you know when I officially start panicking.

So tomorrow, it's on to 28 minute runs.  I've found a 5k in May that I'm looking at as my first race, since it looks like the Giants Draft Day 5k was cancelled for this year.  With a definite goal in mind, I'm starting to get excited and nervous about competing.  I've got another five weeks of training before I get there, so I know I'll be ready!  

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