This week I realized that there is a difference between challenging your body and pushing yourself past your physical limits. Since I started running, I have used an incline of 4 on my treadmill. Although that was manageable when I was starting out and running at a slower pace, now that I am increasing my speed to under 10:00, the incline is wearing me out. I couldn’t stand lowering the incline because it would mean admitting weakness. However, after I almost got sick from exertion after one tough run at that incline, I gave in and allowed myself to decrease the incline to 3 the next day. I felt a little discouraged, interpreting it as a step backwards in my fitness progression, but I knew it was the right thing to do because I didn’t look or feel like this after I finished my run that morning:
I did my first long run today, 4.5 miles at ~10:20 pace! (Final time includes ~7 minutes of warm up and cool down.)
It was tough, I honestly didn’t think I could do it 10 minutes into it, knowing I had over 35 minutes left to run if I stayed at the same pace. Then, I started calculating the percentage left that I had to run; somehow a percentage of time was more manageable than minutes of time (I know NERD ALERT). Now that I know I can do longer runs, I can’t wait to do my long run next week and try to hit 5 miles.
As I said in my last post, I had a mini goal today of facing my fear of running in public. I faced it and went to Marathon Sports to invest in a pair of running sneakers. Turns out, I had nothing to fear at all. I was worried about running on the treadmill at the store while an associate watched (judged) my running speed and form. Not the case. I didn’t have to run on a treadmill, just jogged a bit up and down the store. I also didn’t feel judged as all the associates there were down to earth and extremely knowledgeable and helpful. I left with my new running sneakers that I can’t wait to try tomorrow to see if they help my knee and ankle pain.
In addition to the goal I have of running a mile at a 9:00 pace, I also want to achieve more confidence in my running. I find myself worrying about running outside because I don’t want to show that I’m a novice or that I’m weaker than most experienced runners. I think back to my first post when I said I didn’t want to compare myself to others and instead make my own personal goals. Obviously, I’m still struggling with that, as I was stressed all week over the simple task of going to a sneaker store. So, I’m setting another mini goal for next week: going outside for a run.