Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Running Mad Works!

Some of you may remember my mentions of "Miss Ive," whose blog tagline is "Run mad as often as you choose." I'm not generally mad when I run, so I haven't had too much chance to test this slogan out. The one time I did run mad, it wasn't my best run ever. But today, it worked for me.

I suppose I wasn't mad per se. I first woke up this morning at 4am, with strong winds battering the house. You'd think I'd be used to that by now, but since it was SO HOT the last few days, I went to sleep last night with all the upstairs windows open and the attic fan on. So when the wind started blowing like mad and rattling all the shades at 4, I had to get up and batten down the hatches. I left the windows in my bedroom open, but with the rest closed, it was quiet enough to fall back asleep. But when my alarm went off, I thought, there is NO WAY I am getting up to run. In my sleepy mind, I figured I would just run at lunchtime. When I finally did get up, I realized that I already had a commitment at lunchtime, as well as a phone call around ten, and the rain had started. Joy. So then, I was mad at myself for not getting up and running.

And things didn't seem to get better from there. Not that anything in particular went wrong, I just felt itchy, like I couldn't settle in my own skin. The dog was nudging me and it bothered me more than usual. I felt like I was trying to get a bunch of work done, but I wasn't really finishing anything. Just a stop and start sort of day. So around two, I decided I had to take my lunch break and just RUN. I felt like I was jumping out of my skin, and it was the only thing that would tire my body out enough to stop that.

Of course, it was forty degrees cooler today than it was at the same time two days ago. Ah April. But at least it had stopped raining.

And my old nemesis was back: the wind. I know I said I missed the wind on Monday, but I lied. It was strong enough today that I really struggled in a couple of places. But that being said, when I left the house today, my goal was to run 3.41 miles in less than 36:25. I wanted to beat my 10:41 pace from Monday. What do you think, did I do it?

I started out pretty strong, though my joints were much more sore today. Whenever the barometric pressure goes up with a storm, my hips let me know! I kept telling myself it was nothing major and I just needed to warm up, so I kept going. At my first landmark, which I normally reach at about 6:15 into my run, I was there at about 5:45 instead. So that spurred me on. And I felt like I was reaching each subsequent landmark faster too.

But my lungs were struggling again and my hip was causing me some trouble. I basically ignored that and doggedly kept going, just putting one foot in front of the other. Once I passed the halfway mark, I slowed down a touch because I had a side cramp that went up into my shoulder. I just kept telling myself that it was only pain and would probably go away, and fortunately, it eventually did. This not psyching myself out thing is really working!

The last mile and a half, I kept mentally picturing myself at the next landmark point instead of where I actually was, which worked great. I also remembered something else Miss Ive had told me, a suggestion to lead with my hips when I run, and for some reason, I finally understood what she meant today and was able to do it. And it made a world of difference - for the last half mile, I felt less fatigued and stronger, and that was when I knew I could really push myself.

I kept checking my time, and when I hit one of my last landmarks with about 7 minutes to go (I'd set a 38 minute timer), I thought, there's no way, I'm going to beat my 36:25 time. But I figured I'd give it a shot, so I sped up as much as I could stand. With about two blocks left, and 3:45 left on the clock, I knew I was going to blow by Monday's time, so I really dug deep and ran as fast as I could. I hit the end of the block, and my finish line, at 35:05 - a full minue and twenty seconds faster than Monday!


I was so excited, but my body was definitely not that happy with me. But I did it!

When I set out today, I wanted to be able to prove to myself that I could run faster when it was cooler, than I did on Monday, when it was 72 degrees and humid (it was about 54 when I ran today). And since it's my last long run before my first 5k on Saturday, I wanted to make it a good one - and it was!

I'm extremely excited to say that today, I ran at a 10:17/mile pace, bringing my pace down by 24 seconds!

I guess running mad or frustrated does work, and by the end of my run, I'd tired my body out enough to get rid of the itchy feeling. Now it's on to my 5k's and seeing what I can do there! I think my goal for both of those is to have fun and just run the 3.1 miles!

1 comment:

  1. Great story. When you said you got up at 4AM, I thought to myself, "yeah, I would be mad too if I had to wake up at 4am to run" LOL.

    Way to push yourself like that. You definitely prepared yourself for the 5k. I've been looking for a 5k to race recently too. Can't wait to hear how you did on your's :)