Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Wishful Wednesday...and some track adventures!

Despite the title I promise I am not going to bore you with an extensive wish-list every Wednesday :)
Although I will admit that as I was planning this post I immediately started to think of all the techy things I would love to own or fancy wasn't until I was running today that I thought of my real wish.
I wish I had started loving running earlier in life.

Growing up I was always an athlete.  I played soccer, basketball, softball, volleyball, and was a competitive equestrian for varrrying lengths of time.  No matter the sport though, I hated running.  If we had to run a mile I dreaded it.  Sprints were no better.  I spent every minute running wishing it was over.
I really don't even know when I started to run other than when I was being forced.  I think it was probably the summer of 2011 right after I graduated college.  That fall I got more enthusiastic about it but more as a means to an end.  I wanted to get rid of my college weight and I didn't have enough money to join a running it was. It wasn't until last November that I ran a race.  That one was all it took though, and I was hooked.
I know it all sounds good and well, but the reason I wish I had started to love running earlier is that I would have had so many more opportunities to learn. I could have run in high school and college; I could have had coaches.  And perhaps I would not have my mind so set that I am a slow runner.
I have always been open to the idea of trying new things, but a little (okay a lot) more hesitant when it comes to actually doing the new thing.  I have already decided not to put out too much effort because I probably won't be very good and I don't want to look like I am trying too hard while I am doing poorly.  For this reason, I have always avoided trying to be a "fast" runner because I was convinced that I would never be one.  I finished by 10k a few weeks back feeling great and barely out of breath.  I knew that meant I could have gone faster, but I also knew that it meant I finished without looking like I was struggling.
Luckily I also have a very competitive streak.  I knew I could improve my time and that I even had time to improve my estimated pace for the marathon I am running in November.  But I had no idea how.  Sure I had seen things about sprints and intervals and training methods, but they were way outside my comfort zone. They were nothing I had tried before. They weren't for "slow" runners like me.
Today, however, I was out for my run and trying to beat the rain.  About a mile and a half into the run I arrived at the track.  There was only one person on it (a small miracle!) and she was walking so I guessed she couldn't judge me for my slow running too very much.  So I went up there.  I ran a slow lap then decided I would run a faster lap.  It was a decent speed but nothing crazy.  In this process I realized I am the type of runner who is always saving their energy for what comes next. Anyways, about 3/4 of the way around the track on my slightly quicker lap I changed my mind and started walking.  It was hot, I was tired, I had no idea what I was doing.  It was time to call this experiment off and just run back to my car at a comfortable pace. 
Then I thought about the marks I was seeing on the track.  Again, I wish I had started this adventure earlier in life and knew what any of them meant.  I am assuming what I was looking at was the 100, 200, and 300 meter marks.  So I decided to walk to the start, run to the 100, walk to the 200, run to the 300 and see what happened.  It felt alright but I certainly wasn't moving any too quickly.  What if I run funny? What if I look like I am trying to go fast and still going really slow?  What if I look like I have no idea what I am doing?
After the first repeat of this, however, something clicked and I decided to sprint the distances.  My stride opened up and for the first time (possibly in my entire life?) I ran and felt like I was flying.  I didn't think about any of the other people on the track.  I didn't think about the people driving by.  I thought about using my entire body to get me from point A to point B as fast as it could.  When I got to the walking part I thought I would puke, I thought I couldn't possibly do it again...but I wanted to!
I suppose I should have counted how many of these repeats I did.  But I didn't.  I ran because it felt good. I ran because it made me happy.  And I ran until I heard the thunder rolling in.
I did a nice, slow, cool-down jog back to my car thinking how much I wished I had found that feeling earlier in my life.
Maybe I wouldn't have appreciated it as much if I had.  All I know now is that I will be doing it again!

Now, if you have stuck with me this far I can get to the pictures and fun things :)

I didn't get out of bed early like I meant to...but I did wear Hank out on our walk at lunch! He likes to come in and lay right next to the A/C vent as soon as we get done. 
I made a not-so-photogenic quesadilla for lunch with leftovers from yesterday. My snack in the office this afternoon was much prettier. I am very much hooked on all these things!
During my run I encountered a peg-legged duck. The one in the back was walking funny and I realized he has no foot! He seems to do well though so I guess it just goes to show you how amazing nature can be. 
The storm was rolling in on the other side of the lake as I crossed the bridge. I wanted to avoid that, but I made a pretty view!
My favorite thing to have waiting for me after a run! I work a little harder on days when I have a cold one waiting because I feel like I need to earn it. 

And that was the craziness of my day!
Let me know: what is your favorite track/speed workout?

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