Third Outdoor Run…Farther But Not Faster

Published April 21, 2011 by Jasmine

So I still think I hate running outside.  Maybe one day it will be a love-hate relationship rather than a hate-hate relationship.  I’m working on it!

I was supposed to run six miles yesterday, but my body just wasn’t up to it.  Considering that I haven’t been feeling good this week, I decided to just rest.  I’m slowly learning that resting is okay, as long as it doesn’t become a habit. Muscles need rest to repair and recover.

Today is a new day and there is no more time for rest.  Today I needed to run five miles.  Was I going to go to the gym, or face the hatred and run outside.  Since it was a reasonably nice day and five miles wasn’t too far, I decided to run outside. Plus, if I ran outside I got to skip the strength training since I wouldn’t be at the gym.  I have been reading as many past issues of Runner’s World that I can get my hands on.  I absolutely love this magazine.  One of the things I have learned is that while training for a marathon you shouldn’t strength train more than twice a week.  I was happy to learn this!  I don’t mind strength training but it is physically demanding, and I am exhausted after I am done running.  I tried to do it before I ran, but it left my legs feeling too heavy.  So twice a week it is!

I didn’t have a five mile course plotted out, so I decided to just run 2.5 miles and then double-back.  This would have worked perfectly if I wouldn’t have accidentally hit “stop” on my RunKeeper.  I LOVE this app on my iPhone.  I think it is $9.99, but I was lucky enough to download it when it was free.  Not only does it play my playlists from my iPod, it talks to me!  Every five minutes it tells me my time, my distance, my average pace, my average speed, my current pace, and my current speed. You can even set it up to coach you for a target pace or intervals.  I usually set it up for target pace, so then every five minutes when it talks to me it tells me how far above or below the designated pace I am.  It also keeps track of your routes, time for each mile, and if you access your account online it also keeps track of the elevation.  It is a really neat tool and would recommend it to anyone who wants to track their running.

So, back to my run.  I accidentally hit stop and didn’t really pay attention to my mileage.  I knew I was close to 2.5 miles, so I turned around and restarted the application.  Well as it turns out I needed to go about a tenth of a mile further before I turned around.  I only ended up running 4.8 miles, but this is my furthest run outside by a mile and a half.   The run had hills. The first half of the run I “climbed” 34 feet, and on the way back 58 feet.  So it appears that my run was more downhill the first half, and more uphill the second.  The second half of the run I was also running into the wind which was interesting, but since I was dripping sweat the wind felt good.

I can honestly say that all three times I have run outside this spring I have told myself there is no way I can run a marathon. Today as soon as I started thinking those thoughts, I changed them.  I started chanting in my head “26.2, 26.2, I am a marathon runner, I am a marathon runner, hold your head up high.”  It got me home!  Here’s hoping it will get me through 26.2 miles!

My pace wasn’t great, but it was faster than the minimum marathon pace and that is all that matters to me.  The first time I ran outside it was only 2.35 miles and I was not even close to marathon pace.  The second time I ran outside it was 3.32 miles and I shaved 57 seconds off of my average pace.  My third run outside today was 4.8 miles and I shaved another two seconds off of my average pace.  I am making progress even if it is only two seconds at a time!

I must remember that “pain is weakness leaving the body.” Every day I run I am getting stronger both physically and mentally.

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