Need for speed

Hummus craving?  Satisfied.

0518 001

Love it.  Although garlicky hummus breath is an issue.

I also had my usual spinach/balsamic combo, some cantaloupe (although it was hard and flavorless and I’m probably just going to dump the rest), and yogurt with granola.

Work today was CRAZY.  I wasn’t feeling the gym.  But I knew I should.

I decided that not feeling like going + blistering from the orthotics meant that I should keep today’s workout short.  I decided to run two miles.  After a mile, I decided to run much faster than I usually do and cranked the treadmill up to an 8:30 pace.  And…I felt fine.  It was hard, but not un-maintainably so.  In fact, I sped up and finished at a 7:50 pace!  All in all, I ran my second mile in 8:22, a new personal record for me.

While I was running so fast, (aside from biting my tongue REALLY HARD OW) I was thinking about fear.  I think I stick with “comfortable” numbers on the treadmill because I’m afraid of failing.  I know I can run a 9:50 mile, and I’ll do it well.  An 8:00 mile?  Scary.  I don’t know if I can do that.  I think my asthma is a factor here—I’m afraid that if I push hard, something bad will happen (although, realistically, I know my limits and would stop before that happened.)

I think the fact that I’m punching in a specific speed on a treadmill is holding me back.  Unfortunately, treadmill running is my best option for running most of the time.  I wonder how fast I’d be if I just found a flat surface and ran, you know?  So, from here on out…I’m going to run faster.  As Kath once wrote, “To run faster, you have to RUN FASTER.”  (Or something like that.) 

Even though I ran fast, and for less time than yesterday, my feet still blistered.  I’m beginning to accept that blistering just might be my normal (though I’m still going to try a wider shoe and see what happens).  Eff. 

In other news, we had our first kitchen fire today.

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Tim put it out quickly.  (He set a paper towel on a hot burner.) But our house is smelling a little smoky.  Oops.

Milhouse ran and hid.

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Buckley didn’t move. 0518 004

It’s comforting to know our animals would save us in a disaster.

Two more work days until the honeymoon!  And two questions:

1. How do you conquer your fears?

2.  Runners: how do you figure out your comfortable pace and stick with it?

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11 Responses

  1. Yikes! Scary. Glad the munchkins were ok.

    I try to stay within my range according to my heart rate monitor.

  2. I have been running for about 6 years and I run slow (average 2:15 for a half marathon). I have never become any faster, even when I do try. Whenever I try and add in speedwork, etc, I just end up injured so I don’t bother anymore. I am slow but at least I am out there – I don’t “sweat it” about my pace anymore…..I just do what feels right for me….a challenging pace but not so hard that I feel like my lung will burst! There will always be runners faster than me and there will always be runners slower than me – I run because I can and because I enjoy it. 🙂

  3. Hooray for getting faster! What you said is absolutely correct – run faster, and you’ll run faster. 🙂

    For me, running with other people has really helped me improve my pace. Since I joined my running club, my “comfortable” pace has come down by probably almost a minute/mile!

    Nice job on the 7:50 pace! Keep at it and you’ll be running that comfortably! 🙂

  4. Congrats on the fast run! I’m convinced that I won’t start really improving with my running until I start running outside. I do it occasionally, but like you, most of the time the treadmill is my best option. I know that I obsess over the numbers staring at me the whole time… I usually bring a towel to cover it up, but I still think about it the whole time.

    Maybe I’ll join a running group – shelby’s comment has me thinking that may be a great idea!

  5. I’m horrible at conquering fear. I’d much rather hide.
    But as far as running goes, I think the treadmill works wonders for speed training; my speed has improved so much just by increasing my speed incrementally on the treadmill. After a winter of treadmill running, I was surprised how quickly I was running outside. A lot of times I just increase the speed 0.1 mph after each .10 of a mile. By the end you’re really booking it, but because it’s only .10 of a mile at a certain speed, it doesn’t seem as hard. I think it’s a mind game, really.

    Also, I do interval sprints. Walk .25 mile, run the next .75 mile way, way faster than you normally would. And keep repeating. You’re only running hard for .75 a mile and then you get to walk.

    Like, I said, I play little games with myself to keep entertained and motivated.

    Ack, this is long! Sorry.

  6. I run outside with my garmin and find what pace feels natural for me. During races, I kick it up to as fast as I can go without crashing and burning. For me, an 8:30 pace has always felt natural with my leg length and stride rate, but as my running has improved, that pace has gotten easier, and I can run comfortably at up to an 8:00 pace on a training run and 7:00 during a 5K. But if I go out for a leisurely run, I will almost always run an 8:30 mile without fail still.

  7. Sometimes I feel like you’re walking around in my head! 🙂

    I definitely tend to be conservative with my pace on the treadmill b/c of a fear of failing. I struggle so much with perfectionist tendencies, and I just know that if I try to push myself and then can’t handle it, I’ll somehow find a way to beat myself up over it. That’s actually why I prefer to run outside; then I just go at whatever pace my body feels comfortable, which is often much faster than I run on the treadmill. It’s like just SEEING the faster pace on the treadmill scares me enough to slow down.

  8. I’ve been running for about three weeks now. I’m doing the couch to 5 K program. I am sloooow. I was slow even when running for soccer in high school. I’m hoping to increase my speed a bit as I get more comfortable.

    Glad you didn’t burn down the kitchen!

  9. Can I ask… what do the numbers on your headband mean? x

    Julia
    http://www.britbride.com

  10. I find my comfortable pace by listening to my breathing. If I am breathing heavy then I know I need to slow down. Also my body just naturally runs at my comfortable pace. I usually have to tell my legs to run faster or slower to get out of the pace. Good luck with the running!

  11. Food is just to nice to give up, lol, i remember trying to get fit for my wedding and it was hard 🙂

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