Knowing Limits

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 also faced another setback this week due to an EVIL interval training workout I did on Thursday.  It was 30 minutes of non-stop squats and lunges.  In other words, pure torture.  Even though my entire lower body felt like it was in a vice grip the next morning, I still thought it was a good idea to do my usual tempo run.  (It will work itself out, right?)  Well, during the run I was fine, but once I did my brief cool down walk, I realized that might not have been the best decision, woops.  So, here I am today.  I couldn’t run this morning (actually just walking is a chore 🙂 ), which also means that I didn’t get outside to accomplish my mini goal of the week.  But, I’m not going to let this week bring me down.  Instead, I’m going to use it as a reminder that I need to be more mindful of my current physical abilities.  Plus, as long as my Aunt Debbie thinks I’m a star, life is good, lol.
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Investing in Running

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.