I am by no means a fast runner. I've always known this, and it was proven again during a training run with Quigs and Special K on Saturday afternoon, where Quigs put on her hare feet and ran like her ass was on fire. While Katherine did her best to shout directions (we were practicing on the last leg of the Illinois Marathon course) to Kelly and keep her eye on me.
When I finished, I'd run my usual 11 minute/mile pace for anything over five miles. My fastest 5k time is a 9:29/mile. But I run 4-5 days a week. Somewhere in my head I think that this should somehow make me faster. I do the speed workouts. I do brick workouts in preparation for my mini triathlons. I do strength training 2-3 times a week and have been slowly progressing my weight increases so that I'm pushing myself but not injuring myself.
My Body Blast instructor, Melissa, said the other day that our bodies are far ready to take on most new physical challenges long before our heads are. And I wonder if my head is some kind of random barrier to improvement.
I'm comfortable at my pace. It feels natural and good to run at it. My body needs no recovery the next day. After Saturday's run, I got up, biked 9 miles in 36 minutes and then ran a mile and a half at 9:50/mile. I felt fine. Nothing hurts. I'm meeting my requirements to burn 2700 calories a week for my weight management program. I'm trying new and different physical activities. I'm trying to keep life interesting so I keep exercising at least 60-90 minutes six days a week. And I'm not bored.
Normally, when I'm not in a state of "self punishment" I'd call this a success and turn over and go to sleep. My goal is always to get my time in, have fun and hopefully improve. But for some reason, I'm bothered by my ineptitude this weekend. I feel like I'm somehow not doing enough and falling behind while also feeling like I'm doing all I can. It's frustrating.
Once I let Special K and Quigs get far enough ahead so I couldn't see them, I calmed down. I felt better. Maybe it's just because I'm so used to running by myself. Maybe this is more about feeling like I'm failing to keep up, rather than just recognizing the tremendous accomplishments I've already made in improving my health. Maybe running needs to be about me getting it done for me... rather than comparing my running abilities to other more fit friends. It's just -- hard to do -- this weekend.