Friday, September 2, 2011

The New "Bad" Word

The word "training" should be a bad word. Okay, maybe that's going a bit too far. Training does have it place. It has helped countless people prepare for that 10k, half-marathon, or even a life-changing marathon. Maybe training isn't always the answer to a better run, though. I started my running adventure on April 4th, 2011. It began with the wonderful, life-altering Couch-to-5K program. I knew I wasn't a normal runner (whatever that may be) when it became evident that my running speed was basically an ordinary person's fast walking speed. But I persevered. I knew that because I had some medical issues, I had to go at my own pace...even if that pace was slower than a snail's run. I made it all the way through week 5 before running my first ever 5K race. Oh what an experience! It's safe to say that no one knows what it's like to run a race until they finish their own. It's a roller coaster ride of emotions; from an exhilarating start, to wondering "what the hell ever possessed me?"; to a feeling of being the strongest person in the world, to "oh my goodness, was that only one mile?"; to crying and thinking "I can't finish", to crossing the finish line with a multitude of people cheering you on! Wow, what a ride! So, after finishing my first 5K race, I thought that I didn't need that C25K program and I should be able to move on to a "real" training program. It was time to train for a 10K. Why not? The 5K went so well. I tried many wonderful training programs...Kara Goucher's method, John Bingham's program (he's a fellow penguin, should be perfect), and even my own self-designed program based on a mixture of the above...and you know what I figured out? The word "should" should be a bad word. I thought I should train for a 10K because that was supposed to be the natural next step. Training for a 10K turned out to be the worst decision in my running career. I gave myself more chronic fatigue spells than I had all year in that one short month of training. So, I have gone back to the Couch-to-5K program and decided to finish it once and for all. On my very first run (a 60 second run:90 second walk ratio), I shaved off a good 3 minutes from my normal pace...and it felt wonderful! I now know that it may take me longer than the ordinary runner to meet my goals, but I will still meet my goals and that sometimes taking a step backwards, isn't really going backwards at all. For me, it was a great big leap in the right direction...and don't we all want to go there? So...the word "should"?--I "should" be the best wife, mother, daughter, housekeeper, cook, employee, runner...add it to your "bad" word list. Write it on a piece of paper, crumple it up, and burn it, baby! After all, as the famous running quote states, "No matter how slow you go, you are still lapping everybody on the couch"!

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