Monday, November 26, 2012
A little back story for those of you just tuning in: I started the C25K program a few months ago after never having run in 29 years unless i was being chased. And I fell in love. I loved the feeling I got when I pushed myself a little bit harder. Often on run days, I would keep going even after I finished the program for the day. I finished the whole program about a month ago - although my 5k time is much slower than the app seems to think it should be so since then I've been working on shaving my time down.
And not-coincidentally, around the same time, i started to hate running. Mostly its the calf burning I experience. It's so frustrating! I dont know if its because i run in a hilly neighborhood or what. I stretch really well each time before I go and i warm up with a 5 min walk. I know its not because I'm going too fast. If I ran any slower I would be walking. Does everyone experience this? I know people say that running is mentally challenging. Is that the reason why? No really, I want to know. What is it that makes running mentally challenging specifically? The burning thing - Am I supposed to just push past it? Is it that I'm still new at it and just need to build up my muscle strength? Is it my shoes? I mean they are name brand running shoes but I didnt go get specially fitted or anything. Here's a pic:
So I've been having a hard time the last couple weeks with wanting to run. I want to want to run but I havent wanted to run you know? And each time I went, which was admittedly sporadic, I started with the walk and then ran the rest of the time and just wanted to quit every minute. But I felt like if I took a break to walk, I was cheating. Because I really do want to be able to run an actual 5k race in a decent amount of time with no walking. So I didn't stop to walk at all. But the burning thing is brutal!!! Even if I slow down, it never fully goes away.
Well today, I went out again but decided that when i needed to, I would walk for a minute or so. And weirdly, I loved it again! In fact, my end time was about the same... well a little bit slower - but not by much to what i was doing when i wasnt letting myself walk. I found that i was able to pick up the pace during the times that i ran. It was like the pressure was off cuz I knew if it got uncomfortable, i could walk. So I did that for a whole 5k in about 44 minutes. The time is terrible i know. But i was feeling so much more positive by taking those mini breaks. I felt strong and definitely faster when I did run.
What do you guys think about that? I mean, I know there's no wrong answer to exercise as long as you're up and moving and getting your heart rate up but the thing is, I want to be a runner. I want to be able to do races. If I train the way I did today, will i still improve my endurance? Will I be able to improve my time? Will I get to the point where I don't feel like I need to stop and walk? Or am I letting myself off the hook too easily? And I need to just tough it out and try not to walk? IS THE BURNING EVERY GONNA GO AWAY?
It was the first workout I've had in weeks where I felt really good after. I worked up a sweat, I definitely had my heart rate up and had to catch my breath at times. I want to continue doing it that way but will I still be able to reach the goals I have by doing so - Thats what I'm asking I guess.