Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Good Things Come to Those Who Wait... Patiently or Impatiently

I'm quite possibly the most impatient yogini/yogi that I know!  I've been this way since I was a child... I have memories of 'Patience is a virtue, Suzan', being said in my mother's stern voice - ugh!  Someone make it stop!!!

'Am I ever going to get any faster?' - this is all Eric (hubby) ever hears... as I look up at him with a sad face.  Dreams of finishing a race in the mid-pack finish times falling to the floor...

Running has only been my friend for about a year or so now... we had a relationship back in 2008 but we spent some time apart (I was seeing more of my bike and my physiotherapist...on my off-work hours) but we got back together again when I hooked up with JJ (coach) and I have been very happy about that.  But...  I am a slow runner.  I dream of being able to run 10k in 60 minutes.  That 6:00/km pace eludes me.  Not by a few seconds mind you... by about a minute per km!

We (well, JJ...) decided (and I agreed!) that I need to work on shorter and faster runs for my training for 2011.  It sounded okay at the time although I worried that without long slow runs I would put weight back on... and I didn't really have a clue how doing shorter runs would pay off... I began seeing things like 'tempo run' in Training Peaks and no matter how many times I tried to understand what that means (I never did any speedwork in my running clinic back in 2008... I was just focused on getting in the prescribed mileage - at whatever speed I could run) I just could not grasp what I was trying to accomplish.

Last week, I had an epiphany after reading an old Runners World article and the lightbulbs going off in my brain nearly blinded me!  A tempo run is a lactate threshold run!!!!  How simple!  Why this never sunk in before I do not know... other than I never heard the words 'lactate threshold' which what registered - finally!

Armed with this newfound clarity, I went to the MacMillan running site and downloaded some cool pace charts to get some ideas of what I was trying to 'hit' in terms of pace on various runs.   I was so excited, I wanted to go out for a run - RIGHT NOW!!  I didn't though... it was a bike night.

Then, in the midst of all this excitement, I opened my big mouth to JJ, and admitted that I wonder if actually hold myself back mentally (afraid to run out of steam before the end of the run), and could perhaps (gasp!) go faster than I do on my training runs...?

Lo and behold, I saw a prescribed pace show up in Training Peaks this week!  LOL!!!  I was terrified!  HOW could I possibly hold this pace that looked so fast to my terrified brain, for an entire 10 minutes??

No one could be more astonished than I was last night when I finally got up the courage to check my pace at regular intervals throughout my tempo run.  Oh. My. God.  I AM GETTING FASTER!!!  Wheeeeeeeeeee!!!!!  Not only was I able to 'hold' that prescribed pace for 10 minutes but I held a pace that was 20 seconds faster than that!  The best part?  I could have kept going longer!!

Is my running body finally adapting???  I think it IS!!

Well, after all those months (3!) of whining about how much I loathe speedwork because it isn't helping my stumpy legs run any faster, doing the runs but not feeling that I was seeing any results... feeling like I'm doomed to be a one-speed runner... the work is paying off. 

I couldn't be happier!!

Maybe I will actually run a 60 minute 10k sometime this year :)  Look out Boston... I'm coming to get you in... let's see... 2050??

Happy training everyone!



  1. Good news on getting faster. The next epiphany is applying the same model to cycling! This hard stuff is hard but it sure does work.

  2. Once again - I didn't realize I had any comments - I'm not very bright with this blog stuff!! Ah yes - the epiphany is applying it to cycling... man... could I BE any slower!? LOL!! One of these days, maybe our paths will cross at a race!