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!