Tuesday, August 23, 2011

6 Minutes and 22 Seconds

So, I decided to quit whining about how slow I run, and do something about it.  Honestly, when I run, I just take off on a nice, leisurely jog.  Almost as if I am running without purpose.  I think I felt like I was doing something good because 1-I was losing weight and 2-I was all sweaty and a bit out of breath when I got back from my runs.  So, there.  That's all I have to do, right?  Just jog a little, and that will get me ready for my 5K?  Not so much!

After Fridays depressing run (2.25 miles - .5 of which was walked) that took me 37:06 to finish-that's a pace of about 16:30 for a mile (slower than most people walk), I decided I MUST be doing something wrong!  I had to take action!

So for my next run, I did everything the same:  2.25 miles (well-no walking this time!), except the last leg of the run-which normally takes in the 5 minute range-I ran as fast as I could, and then sprinted the last 1/2 block.  My time improved up to 35:30, which is a 15.7 minute mile.  Still slow!  But I proved to myself that I could consistently run faster.  I was MUCH hotter after my run, and my heart was racing faster than it has since I started this 6 weeks ago.

For todays run, my goal was to break the 15 minute mile.  I decided to run as fast as I believed my body would allow me to run, and yet still last the duration of the run.  Another 2.25 miles, all running.  After my first loop around taking 5 minutes, I started calculating in my head how long I thought it could take me to complete my run if I maintained my pace.  I figured the best time I could complete my run would be about 30 minutes-which would place me within my goal of breaking a 15 minute mile.

Second loop around and I was starting to wear out!  Could I maintain this speed for the full 2.25 miles?  Third (and longer) loop, I was huffing and puffing!  And onto a straighaway-I had to start talking to myself telling myself that this is possible, and to keep pushing.  Last loop-I was dying!  Why was no one watering their lawns?  I needed to run through some water!  And finally, at long last, my last straighaway-could I do it?  I fixed my eyes on the end of the road and kept telling myself I was going to make it, even though I didn't feel like I could.  I ran what felt like must be the fastest pace possible to run.  I could hear myself breathing so deeply and loudly that if someone saw me they would probably call an ambulance (good thing I run in the wee hours of the morning).

I sprinted the last little bit, and finished in 30:44!  As soon as I finished, I collapsed into my yard.  It felt good to just lay there and not move!  I didn't stay there long-I had to get up and figure out what my pace was.  It was 13.6 minute mile pace!  I exceeded my goal by more than I thought was even possible!  And I shaved 6:22 off of my time from just 5 days earlier!  All because I decided to run with purpose.  Wow-that could preach!  What more could we do for God if we just decided to run with purpose?

I still have a long way to go (no way I can run a 5K huffing and puffing like that-but I've got time to work on that), and have more goals to meet, but today I have learned that I am capable of much more than I thought.  And it feels good!

Where I collapsed (ignore the dead grass-we've had triple digit heat for too long!)

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