When I first started running 5 years ago, I had grand ambitions to, you know, actually run. As in, run the entire way, without any walk breaks. But I was a beginning runner and I learned that not only was there no shame in following the run/walk method, but it could actually make you faster overall, not to mention save you energy for your actual races. So I embraced run/walk wholeheartedly–so much so, that I think I got a little complacent and failed to try and push myself a little more to see if I could eliminate some of the walk breaks for the shorter runs.
I knew that if I wanted to get faster, I’d have to start weaning myself off the walk breaks–or at least make them less frequent and/or break them out only for runs in the double digits. But this was easier said than done. Over the last 2 seasons, I’ve had a few 4-5 milers where I was able to do so, and I worked up to eliminating them altogether during the track workouts. But for some reason, I still had this mental block. And it really was mental–physically, I was in good enough shape to do it, I just had to believe it.
Until today, the furthest I’d ever gone without a walk break was 6 miles. And quite frankly, when I did that, I felt like dying/puking. Not fun. But today I was determined to give it another go and go even further by adding another mile. Would I be able to do it? There was only one way to find out, of course: just do it.
I’m thrilled to report that not only did I do it, but I felt fantastic afterwards! Ok, the beginning sucked (and boy did it suck), and some parts of the during weren’t all that pleasant either. But once I got to the end and was doing my cooldown jog, I realized, “Hey, I actually feel pretty good!”
A few more runs like this under my belt, and I think I can finally get to the point where I can run all the way through any run under 10 miles–and, more importantly–feel pretty good doing so. That is my goal. Who knows, I may even get to the point where I can run an entire half marathon and still feel good. I’m hoping that happens this season :).
A big thank you to Juana for keeping me motivated/distracted/pumped. Thanks to her, not only was I able to do the run, but I did it in the fastest pace I’ve ever run for that distance: 10:21 min miles! Wahoo!!