Thursday, August 30, 2012

Looking at(and Enjoying) the Good Things

Right after my first race, I wrote the recap of how it went and vowed to let you know about all the things I was going to do improve on the many things I did wrong or didn't do. But something happened before I could put my potential plan in writing:

I ran.

Also, my results finally showed up on the website: 48:54. Par for the course for me. I'm certainly going to write about the things I'm going to improve for my next 5K (Susan G. Komen's Race for the Cure at the end of September) but after running on Tuesday I got to reflect a lot and decided to do something first. I'm going to go over how far I have come since I started running 5  months ago. While I was very critical of my performance, I don't want to give the impression that I was frustrated or sad. Quite the opposite. I was quite excited. I saw all the nitpicking I was doing as a good sign. Not only had I just run my first race, I was already thinking about the next one. I was taking it seriously. I am really starting to get into running.

After the race, I was very sore. I wasn't really up to it, but I thought doing an easy run would help me "flush" the lactic acid. So off I went. It was a short run: Only two miles and a very easy and slow pace.  It was the complete opposite of the race. I was in total control. I was happy to be running despite the soreness. It helped me clear my head and get my act together. By the end of the run I had a much clearer picture of what I had to do. I had to take it easy. See, after the race I was going a bit Cuckoo. All I was thinking was "I got to add more mileage! I got to run harder!." I was completely missing the point. I have gotten this far by being patient. Maintaining that line of thinking was going to probably get me injured or worse, away from running. So its important for me to see where I'm coming from before I go forward.

When I started, I could only run a mile and a half.  It was a struggle. Every breath, an effort. I remember reading that you should run at a pace that allowed you to talk. I didn't get it. The only pace were I could do that was walking. Taking a step up a curb was an involved process were I started thinking about it 500 yards before it happened. The last half mile was particularly painful. But I got better.

When I started running, my running form was a joke. It was barely running actually. Walkers would pass me. Yes, I was struggling to keep up with people walking. It was pathetic. I would drag my feet on the asphalt because I could barely lift my feet. But it got better.

When I started running, the first few times, I had to rest an entire week to try it again. I would need three days many times after that. But it got better.

Yes, it got better. While I still have a long way to go, progress is progress. Today, I can run 5 miles. That's more than triple the distance I started with.

OK, so I'm still slow. But I have recorded my pace in the 14's. That's faster than when I started. Walkers are having a hard time catching up now. lol

My running form has improved a lot. I don't drag my feet anymore. I have a lot more control. I can speed  up, slow down and control my pace (Though it would seem I forgot about that during the race).

All those things came rushing back into my head while on my run Tuesday. Yes, I have a long way to go but I have also come so far from where I started. Yes, I run 14 minute miles but you know how fast I was running those miles  last year? Zero. Zip. I wasn't doing anything. I have run over 130 miles this year(so far). How many did I run last year? Zero. 

I'd say, I'm doing pretty good.

1 comment:

  1. Im very proud of you....I hope you continue doing this. A little protein shake after the run will kill the soreness from the lactic acid. By the way you look great...and you can tell in the big smile you gave me when I talked to you probably feel full of energy and ready for the next run. Keep on trucking Fat Runner and when you feel you need something a little more challenging let me know....Take care and Ill be looking out for you on the road......