Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Note To Self

Running gets easier, or at least more comfortable, after I do it for a while. Namely about 20-30 minutes.

Case in point: today on my lunch break I had a run workout planned in which I would warm up for 10-15 minutes, then do three cruise intervals (run for 8 min at tempo pace, then recover with a slow jog for 3 min). I started out at a nice slow jog, and all felt good. For about 5 minutes.... then I wanted to stop. Nothing hurt. I wasn't tired. But for some reason my body and mind both said, "this is silly. can we just walk somewhere instead of trying to run there?"

But I kept on jogging, and then after ten minutes picked it up to tempo pace for my first interval. It sucked. Not only was I sucking wind, but my whole body felt just out-of-sync and gangly, like I'd never run before. It wasn't smooth. It wasn't comfortable. And again, nothing was WRONG, but it just wasn't RIGHT. I wanted to stop.

And you know, the first 10-30 minutes of my runs are often like this. ESPECIALLY in a triathlon. In the two that I've done now, I really haven't felt good running until the last mile or less, but then things come around and it's okay. And on my run today, the second interval felt better, and by the third it was feeling pretty darn good to crank along at a quickened pace. I even went for a slightly longer-than-prescribed cool-down jog, just because it felt good (and I was digging listening to the live music playing at the park along the river where I was running).

I'm not sure why it takes me so long to get into the running groove, even when I run on a regular basis. But it does. I guess I'm just made to be a distance runner?!

Regardless of the reason, I'll be trying to remember this fact when I do the Olympic distance triathlon in a few weeks. Instead of the 5k/3.1 mile run that I've done in the last two triathlons, this one will be a 10k/6.2 mile run. I know the first few miles will be tough. But I'll be working hard to remind myself that IT WILL GET BETTER. I know that I have the cardio strength and endurance to keep going. I'll just have to have the mental strength to push myself through the first few miles of awkward discomfort on the run, working towards that slightly smoother feeling that comes once my legs and core get used to the feel of running.

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