One day I’ll be a runner…

One day I’d like to be a runner. I’ll strap on my Garmin, do an “easy” 3 mile run, and come back and rave about how awesome my 8 minute miles were.*

Sigh. I wish. As it is, yesterday’s run made me realize how much I am NOT a runner. I can’t even do Bridge to 10K properly. Yesterday’s run marked 2 days in this program that I wasn’t able to properly complete… for some reason day 3 of each week has been a killer. I don’t understand, I did Couch to 5K without any problems, I’m able to run 35 minutes plus without stopping, but the last running interval of B210K (after only 30 minute of running) is beating me down.

I kind of think part of my problem is the walking intervals. I’m getting pretty good about talking myself into running farther, even when that means 13 minutes of “okay run until that bridge… okay now run until that tree, no not the little tree, the big tree… okay now run until that corner…” But once I stop running, even for that 1 minute interval, it’s hard to start up again. And yesterday I was struggling so much that I kept walking for longer than the minute, which made it THAT much harder to start running again.

Then again, a lot of it was me just struggling yesterday in general. I felt parched 10 minutes into it, even though I was pretty well hydrated before the run. I felt like I couldn’t breathe properly, that I was constantly gasping for breath, even though at times I forced myself to run so slow it felt like I could’ve walked faster. Plus, and I don’t know if this is a bit TMI, but I had horrible acid reflux the whole time. I think that’s what it was anyway. (PS, does anyone else ever suffer from this while running?) It felt like a huge effort to keep running with all that going on. I felt like I wasn’t meant for this, that I suck at running, that I’m never going to be good at it so why do I bother?

I’m gonna keep chugging along though. Maybe I’ll get better, maybe I’m just not meant to run more than 3 miles, maybe I’ll find that runner’s high and fall in love with running. Either way, I’m stubborn enough to not quit just yet. Right now I’m trying to focus on ways to keep me motivated: dreaming about buying my Garmin, running that upcoming 5K, and anything else that keeps me lacing up those sneakers, day after day (minus rest days, of course). Perhaps this shirt, which totally suits me, is necessary:

icecreamtank

Someone pass me a spoon?

*I hope no one takes offense to this sentence. I’m not being snarky at all. I’m really just completely jealous of those of you who fit this description. Promise.
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34 responses

  1. Courtney @ I CAN DO THIS

    It will get easier! Your body is adapting to more and more demands. Stick with it!
    (And I would love to come back from a run raving about 8 minute miles too πŸ™‚

    May 17, 2011 at 7:25 am

  2. First of all, you are a runner! Maybe not the runner you want to be, but give it a little time. I’m sure you’ve noticed that I’m an incredibly slow runner, which sometimes makes me feel like I’m not a real runner. Anyways, we all have awful runs that make us miserable, but I’m sure the next time it’ll go better. I remember how heinous and difficult doing 10K felt the first time and then a few months later it was a nice, easy short run. You’ll get there, I promise!

    May 17, 2011 at 8:37 am

    • Thanks… I guess you’re right, it’s not the speed that matters, it’s just that we’re doing it!

      May 18, 2011 at 9:35 pm

  3. Okay, so here’s my 2 cents. I HATE intervals. I never even realized I hated them until I had encouragement to try running my mileage outright. I think it is so much more difficult to get your momentum going when you are constantly stopping it. I think intervals are harder on your body, too.

    I know it doesn’t make sense to just jump into running 4 miles or 6 miles straight away, but you would probably be surprised and what you are capable if you are finding yourself struggling with the intervals. They aren’t for everyone. Some people swear by them.

    Before I got hurt (pelvic stress fracture), I had built up my endurance to be able to run a half marathon with only walking through the water stations. If I can do that, anyone can. Now I’m just trying to get myself into that kind of shape again! =)

    Also…just remember some days you will have killer/awesome runs and others…um…not so much. For the record, I hate training. I just love the races! Oh…and I chew gum to help with that dry mouth business. I have it happen to me constantly.

    Hang in there!

    May 17, 2011 at 9:14 am

    • You know, I think you’re on to something. I’m going to stop doing the intervals… they’re obviously not working out for me and I don’t want to get frustrated with them anymore.

      I need to find some gum. Good idea!

      May 18, 2011 at 9:36 pm

  4. I always experience that especially if it has been a couple hours after eating! You are not alone – actually, you are not alone on ANY of that. Every runner, DESPITE ability, has those days. And sometimes those days are back to back and feel like they become weeks. I’ve been working on looking for an 8 in front of my paces for years!! Then I realized, who is going to pull up the rear?? I started running for me and my abilities instead of looking at everyone else – it helps a lot.

    May 17, 2011 at 11:28 am

    • Glad to know that I’m not aloe, that makes me feel so much better!

      May 18, 2011 at 9:36 pm

  5. I have runs like that too and I can only run 8 minute miles in my dreams but we are runners!! Just the fact that you kept going and that you keep getting out to go run makes you a runner! Even if you don’t feel like you’re a “real” runner just fake it until you believe it! Hang in there, it’s the runs like those that make you appreciate the amazing ones πŸ™‚

    May 17, 2011 at 11:48 am

    • That’s totally true, you’re right! Today I was struggling with my run and I was like, at least I’m doing it!

      May 18, 2011 at 9:37 pm

  6. There’ll be days like that… just hang in there. I really like your attitude of not wanting to give up, that’s the key to success. You will definitely get better, do not doubt that!

    May 17, 2011 at 11:54 am

  7. I totally have the headband that says “Will Run for Margaritas”! Keep with it! It takes a long time to build up your running endurance. I have run 8 miles before, but I have had 2 mile runs that felt worse than the 8 miler! Sometimes you’re just not going to have a good run.

    May 17, 2011 at 3:54 pm

    • lol I totally need a “will run for daiquiris” headband (I’m not one for tequila in my drinks). And I’ll keep at it! πŸ™‚

      May 18, 2011 at 9:39 pm

  8. Most importantly: you already ARE a runner! Garmin watches, pace, and training plans do not make us runners. Heart, soul, and desire do.

    Next: have faith that you will improve. Every runner has hard days/weeks/months/years. Working through them makes you better and stronger.

    Hang in there, and good luck!

    May 17, 2011 at 4:00 pm

    • Thank you for your kind words! I’m going to keep working through this rough patch and hope it gets better!

      May 18, 2011 at 9:40 pm

  9. I was thinking something similar to Megan above!

    I read somewhere about being a “runner” on another blog and went off on a tangent. I think we’re probably similar runners (although I’ve been on and off for a few, or more, years…I can still barely do a 5k). I feel like I CAN call myself a runner though. I may be doing 10, 11, even some days 12 minute miles, but I’m still out there trying. It’s way more than other people can say. I say, call yourself a runner and be proud of it πŸ™‚

    I’m still struggling to get to that point of being about to run “easy” miles. I just keep trying to love the challenge and success (finishing) in running while not comparing myself to others distances, times, etc. I hope you keep up the hard work!

    Ps. If you’re on twitter, I’d love to help motivate each other πŸ™‚

    May 17, 2011 at 6:24 pm

    • Okay, I will call myself a runner then. πŸ™‚ I hope one day we’ll be able to run “easy” miles. It would be nice. And glad to have found you on twitter! πŸ™‚

      May 18, 2011 at 9:41 pm

  10. Oh my gosh. If I’m running I cannot stop for ANY reason. Literally, once I stop? My feet REFUSE to return to running.

    Your feet have the same problem. They aren’t stupid. They totally caught onto the fact that walking is easier on them πŸ˜‰ Keep with it girl! PS I want that shirt as well!

    May 17, 2011 at 10:21 pm

    • Lol, I think you’re right – my feet aren’t stupid. I think I’m cutting out the walking now, no use in getting frustrated when my feet won’t cooperate!

      May 18, 2011 at 9:42 pm

  11. Welcome to the 4 mile wall. The problem you’re having right now has less to do with your cardio endurance and more to do with muscle strength. It seems like cardio, because you feel like you’re out of breath. But if you focus on why – you’ll realize it’s because your legs feel heavy and you feel like you’re working harder. You’ll hover at this 3-4 mile mark for a little while and it will be frustrating. But you’re going to have to work through some painful growth before you’ll be able to move on. Don’t get discouraged. You’ll eventually get over it. And when you do, you’ll surprise yourself how quickly you can pile on the miles.

    Acid reflux – most likely has to do with what you drank beforehand. I find that if I drink milk or juice before hand, I sometimes get it. But I’ve been drinking Propel Zero or Gatorade G2 and haven’t had problems lately (the sodium is important, so plain water isn’t the best).

    PS – have you been doing anything like Gels or chews? For my longer runs (4 miles or more), I do GU Chomps 15 minutes beforehand. I feel it really does make a difference. Buy them in cases, and they’re not that expensive.

    May 17, 2011 at 11:03 pm

    • Um, me no likey this wall. Well I hope I’ll get over it sooner or later, I feel like actually I’m at a 3.5 mile wall. And thank you for the Gatorade/Propel suggestion, I’ll need to get some.

      I hadn’t done gels or chews although today I tried a gel. Man those do not taste good. I did notice a difference today so maybe it worked? Or maybe it was just a good day..

      May 18, 2011 at 9:43 pm

      • Yeah…the Gels tend to taste pretty horrible. For that reason, I save them for race day for my longer races. I still do chews for the pre-race routine, but the mid-race (half-hour into it), I’ll do a Gel. I think during a race, the Gels work better.

        The Chews, on the other hand, actually taste pretty good. They are like big gummie bears, except with boring shapes. I use Gu Chomps, but there are also Shot Blox from Cliff that I’ve used as well.

        May 19, 2011 at 8:15 am

  12. Oops…almost forgot: Motivation. I use Nike+ (The classic system, I think they have GPS now). It’s not the most accurate, but it’s a tremendous motivator. The community, coaching programs, challenges and goals are awesome. And you can link into this thing called Nike+ Active where you virtually run through cities around the world.

    I also use Strands.com to track my runs…it’s also a pretty good community and I believe it supports Garmin natively. It tracks your workouts, and it emails you weekly to tell you how you’ve done compared to the previous weeks. It’s pretty cool.

    May 17, 2011 at 11:06 pm

    • I’ve been using nike+ gps but I’m not in love with it, mainly because it doesn’t always record my mileage correctly and I don’t have any social interaction with it. And I’ve been using dailymile for logging workouts but I don’t have many friends there. I’ll have to check out that website you mentioned, thanks!

      May 18, 2011 at 9:44 pm

  13. you may find this really hard to believe, but there is something kind of sweet about being at your stage — it’s all a new discovery, you have so much to gain and so many goals in your future to accomplish. I promise, you will accomplish them! And it will feel SO sweet! and we will all be here rooting for you.

    Walk breaks kill me. once I stop moving, it’s very hard to start again. Thats why I refuse to stop once during a race, even for a quick stretch…

    May 17, 2011 at 11:14 pm

    • Awww, well thank you… I appreciate the support! And I think I’m done with walk breaks. They don’t seem to work out so well for me.

      May 18, 2011 at 9:45 pm

  14. Girl, you ARE a runner! And I feel ya with the whole interval thing, it’s hard to keep stopping…how are you supposed to get in the zone?!

    You’re endurance will get there…enjoy and be proud of every milestone πŸ™‚

    May 18, 2011 at 12:43 am

    • I think that’s exactly it, I haven’t been able to get into the zone with the intervals! And thank you, will try! πŸ™‚

      May 18, 2011 at 9:45 pm

  15. Oh and super relevant article I found…I AM A RUNNER because I say I am. And no one can tell me I’m not.

    (I hope this isn’t marked as spam!) http://www.runnersworld.com/article/0,7120,s6-243-332–12126-0,00.html

    May 18, 2011 at 12:45 am

    • That article was great (although I do think I have running “outfits” (love lululemon) and my runs don’t have name), thanks for sharing! I will call myself a runner! πŸ™‚

      May 18, 2011 at 9:47 pm

  16. What I love about running is that it isn’t black and white. You lacing up your shoes and running = a runner and I see many would agree!

    Dn’t fall prey to the comparison trap! Do what feels good for YOU!

    May 18, 2011 at 11:25 am

    • I think I do need to stop comparing myself, you’re right. What works for me won’t work for other people. Thank you!

      May 22, 2011 at 4:53 am

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