Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Between a Rock and an Awkward P(l)ace

Going through some interesting, if not a bit frustrating, times here.

I think I'm in a funk of some kind. Kind of a weird moment. I'm not sure what to make of it. I go out as usual, start off feeling great then, I can't seem to finish. All of my last few runs, I have had to stop and walk in order to finish. In two particularly hard occasions, I could not finish altogether. The problem is, I know exactly what's wrong and cannot seem to apply the solution.

You see, the problem is not new and actually a pretty common thing by what I read in other blogs. I am running too fast. It's just that instead of getting better I seem to be getting worse. Let me go back a bit.

After finishing my first-ever Half-Marathon training plan, I was in Cloud 9. I was feeling pretty good and the progress was pretty obvious. I decided to start the intermediate version of the plan and two things happened: 1) I take off at an obviously faster pace than I used to run, feeling like I can maintain it forever and it turns out I can't. At some point in the run, I run out of steam and I'm forced to walk or even stop. If I catch myself running faster and try to slow down, I feel like I'm not really working, you know? Like I'm coasting. It feels too easy. 2) Severe weather has kept me from being consistent. The past two weeks I have barely been able to go out and run which adds to the feeling of uncertainty. It really adds to the feeling that I'm losing the gains I made in the past two months when actually the "problem" seems to be that I climbed up a level and can't figure out what that level is.

In other words, I seem to be stuck in some sort of pace/speed/endurance hole and it has taken some time to sort out where I am. I am certainly faster, but not as fast as my brain thinks I am. I have been working on that, trying to control my pace a little better but I admit it has been hard to do. I used to think that increasing you pace was a very deliberate thing but it is actually very subtle. The difference between a 15:30 min/mile and 15:00 min/mile is so small, you hardly notice the increase in effort at first. It's when you maintain that new effort for an extended period that you really notice. You really have to be in tune with your body to pick up on it. Obviously, I have a ways to go with that. 

In the meantime, I will focus on running. I am not made of paper so if its raining, I have to make myself go out and run. I'm thinking of trying a couple of things during my tempo runs to improve my sensitivity to "feeling" the pace I should be running at. i will let you guys know how that goes.


  1. We all go through this Frank! You just have to keep reminding yourself to slow down so you can finish strong. Good luck! You're doing great!

  2. Don't think too much....just do what's comfortable. Been doing it just over a year now and lost 68lbs so far..... You're doing great, just keep plugging along brother!