Today on the schedule - 35 minute tempo run. My schedule only allowed for time on the dreadmill after putting the kiddo to bed. I really didn't mind, because it gave me an excuse to watch the last bit of Grey's and the 1st part of ER.
The thing about me and the treadmill is that I have a habit of racing against the clock. As I run, I see the little lights light up on the on-screen "track" and I look at the time to I see if I can make it all the way around the little track by a certain time.
I did this today...as I was running, I kept creeping the speed up a little here and a little there until I felt I was running as fast as I could run for 35 minutes. I did take two 1 minute walk breaks to talk to the hubby about the kiddo's birthday. I looked at my speed - what I thought was a really fast pace for me was a 10:54 pace!
Jeeze, when did I get this slow?
Why was I sweating so much?
When did I become such a wuss?
While I was training for Chicago, I attributed my slower runs to the extreme Houston heat or trying not to get injured. Then, I started reminiscing about my early running days (i.e. 2001/2002) - I've never been really fast, but I could easily run 3 miles at a 10:30 pace. But not tonight. Tonight, I was sweating and working at it...it wasn't terribly hard, but it certainly wasn't easy.
I know during my 2nd year with Houston Fit, I trained for NYC. I was running with my good friend Marlina and we had a tendency to slow down because we were busy chatting and even took more walk/stretch breaks than we really should have. We ran NYC in 2003 and then Houston in 2004 (my 2 slowest marathons). Shortly after that, I got preggo with the kiddo. I continued to run until about month 5 and then just walked on the treadmill until my due date. So, I know some of the slowness can be attributed to lack of proper training in 2003 and then no running for a large portion of 2004. I started running again as soon as I had the okay from the doctor, but never really pushed myself to go faster. I was just getting used to running again...my body felt different, I got sweaty faster, everything seemed harder! When I re-joined Houston Fit last year to train for the 2006 Houston/Austin marathons there were many times that I wasn't sure that I could make it. I even went to all the hill and speed workouts (until the achilles injury). But still, unlike my 1st year in Fit, I was no longer sprinting in at the finish of a long run...I was just happy to finish.
And tonight, I reminded myself of those days again. The days when I really pushed to run harder. Yes, I could run faster...not extremely fast, but faster. I liked those days. Tonight, even though I didn't run as fast or as easily as I used to, it felt great to run as fast as I felt I could. I think I will keep pushing myself like this. Who knows, maybe I'll even get a little faster in the process.
Conditions - Treadmill
Total run time - 35 minutes
Total distance - 3.10 miles