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How I Ran 3 Miles Without Stopping

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Sunday, June 03, 2012

After my crazy fast run yesterday, I felt great. But, later on around bedtime, I started to notice that my entire body was feeling the morning's run. This made me a bit nervous, as today was supposed to be my Long Slow Run.

In a normal training schedule, I wouldn't schedule a back-to-back run anywhere near the Long Slow Run. I would definitely leave a rest day before my LSR. But, this week, things got a little wonky because I'm starting my official half marathon training schedule next week. So, my days were going to need to shift a little bit...also, I had wanted to run a distance of 5k "with" one of my SparkFriends yesterday...so that threw me off a bit.

This morning, the alarm went off at 7am and I was NOT in the mood. I think it's important for those of you who say you are inspired by me to understand that I have days where I want to be lazy and I DON'T WANT TO RUN!!! Yes, I am mortal. Lol.

But...to be honest...this is my first REAL LSR and I know that these are so important in training. So, I forced myself to put my running clothes on. I figured I'd feel better when I got out there. Took a VERY slow walk to the trail and was not instantly refreshed by the morning air, as I usually am. Still tired. Ugh.

Got to the trail and this is the part where I usually start running. This run would be different, though, because as the name suggests...it is to be a LONG, SLOW RUN.

I remembered the book I just finished reading (which I highly recommend for ALL beginning runners trying to lose weight) called "Run Your Butt Off". In this book, they introduce a running program for weight loss that gradually builds slowly (somewhat like C25K). But they had a test panel of people that did the program and reported back the entire 12 weeks. By the end of the program, every single person had become "a runner". There were a few that had a hard time getting into it the first few weeks. They said they hated running...even 3 weeks in. At that point, the authors and coaches gave them a tip...SLOW YOUR PACE. Amazingly, every single one of the participants reported that running was a COMPLETELY different story when they just slowed down.

This morning, I knew 4 miles would be tough. I determined to go as slow as possible so I could make it through the long haul. My feet were NOT wanting to do this. Ankles were a bit sore from yesterday. I started off running REALLY weird. It was a strange, limping run and I knew it was because I was being overprotective of my bad ankle.

I thought to myself, "Leah, this is going to get you injured...stop it now. Settle in." I say this to myself a lot in the beginning of runs (especially when I'm ready to say 'screw this today')...SETTLE IN. So I kept going...VERY slowly...literally felt like I was shuffling (barely lifting my feet of the ground) for AT LEAST half a mile. I almost felt like I was walking fast and not running. It took me a good LONG time to find a decent rhythm on this run...in fact, I hesitate to call it a run. The word "jog" is much more appropriate for what went down today.

I felt like I was going half my normal speed, but the clock didn't matter today. I finally was able to focus more on my music and forget about my feet. Then, I settled into a good slow pace and got into my zone.

This morning, I learned exactly what those test subjects from "Run Your Butt Off" learned. When I slowed down, running 4 miles was a COMPLETELY different experience. I never once found myself breathing heavily...never once got winded in the slightest bit. Just breathed normally through the entire run! Because I had no problems breathing and because my legs weren't bothering me since I was running so slowly, I just kept going. And I ran non-stop for 3 miles!!! It was about 1/2 hour!! I felt like I could have kept going indefinitely...but there was amonster blister on my left foot and I ended up walking the final mile.

Here's the most amazing part of all...when I looked at my run app later, it showed that my time for the 3.0 miles that I ran was 46 minutes. Um....what? I RAN the entire thing without stopping and it ended up being almost the same time as when I almost kill myself trying to run faster and taking walk breaks to catch my breath. You know, my trainer has told me this and told me this...but I guess I just never believed him. Sorry, Robert!!!

Kind of a mindblowing discovery actually. This is actually going to make me re-think my entire training strategy.
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