I'm not fast. I've never been fast.
When I used to run every other day (aka running instead of studying during law school), I kept a steady 10 minute pace, never really trying to run any faster. Actually, maybe I just wasn't sure if I could ever run any faster? I just wanted to run and run and run some more.
Now time matters. I don't know why, but I've decided it does.
Cherry Blossom 5K in March 2012 - 44:00. I literally jogged the first half mile, then kept stopping to walk, then my iPod died right at the first mile marker. The rest was horrible, I was miserable. I hadn't been able to run or work out at all for 3-4 weeks before (when I had surgery), so I was kind of just happy (but mad) to finish. Whatever, it happened.
Bluemont 5K in April 2012 - 49:00 ish. I knew the last half mile (or full mile? I don't remember) was up the 951', but I literally had no idea that the rest of the race was ON the mountain, and when you've only been running on treadmills, your ankles/feet/legs are not used to all of the different angles. I kept jogging then stopping, jogging then stopping. Then, the incline climb (the very last part of the race)...I just couldn't keep going (I thought), I kept stopping, standing, stopping, standing...it was so rough. When I crossed the finish line, pretty sure the volunteer EMTs thought I was going to pass out. I was literally THE last person to finish. It was horrible. I was pretty upset honestly, to be the last one to finish, but I hadn't really been training for it, and felt prettttty sick after, so the pukey-ness overshadowed the upset-ness. And I said I never wanted to run that race again.
Napa to Sonoma half marathon in July 2012 - 2:41. So, another excuse - I had been doing crossfit + crossfit endurance since April (after surgery recovery), and was planning to come in around 2:10. Then my shoulder was injured and I had to take a few weeks off because it literally hurt to breathe in. I was able to do a few crossfit endurance workouts in the weeks leading up to it, but only the running workouts (not the actual crossfit or strength parts). The first 4-5 miles felt fine, middle ones were SO boring. Stopping to use a port-o-potty was the worst decision ever, because once you stop, it's so hard to get back into the running groove. I didn't even really think there were many hills, and my strategy was to run up the hills and then walk down to give myself a little break. By mile 9 my legs felt so weak, I just kept thinking - keep going, keep going, loosen the legs, etc. Some of the TNT coaches asked if I was feeling ok (I wasn't in the TNT program), and I was like what do you mean? I'm not stopping, just trying to shake it out. My feet were so sore after, I just didn't want to walk anywhere, didn't want to wear shoes, didn't want to stand. They only had teeny little cups of water at the finish line (plus a bunch of not-so-paleo-friendly stuff like granola bars, v8, who knows what else) and I was soooo thirsty. I found the Zico coconut water booth and kind of just stood there...taking samples. (Thank you, Zico.)
Arlington 9-11 Memorial 5K 2012 - 33:34. I was pretty pleased with this time, honestly. I stopped to walk maybe 5-6 different times for maybe 20-30 seconds each time. The roads were wet (there were tornado watches that morning, so I wasn't even sure the race was going to happen). But this was, hands down, the best race I've been to. There were people cheering in a few random places, a guy playing a bagpipe under an overpass, and a ridiculous finish line party (pretty much unlimited beer, pizza, burgers, etc...I don't eat any of that, but still, nice party!) Also, the first time I've felt like puking after running.
Beach Running Championships 10K October 2012 - I ran this with my mom (literally ran with her while my brother just took off), so it was worth it, and nice to not feel like puking at the end. (Actually, maybe I did feel like puking at the end after I decided to sprint the last 100m to beat this larger dude that passed us.)
SOME Turkey Trot - November 2012 - 32:04 1:30 faster than the September 5K! When I finished, I literally had no idea how fast I had been running, at all. About a mile into it, I decided I wasn't going to stop to walk at all, except to grab water at the water stop at the halfway point. And, I did not stop. I'm pretty convinced I ran an extra half mile at least, from all of the zig-zagging in and out of people. I will never ever understand why people who walk start at the front of the pack when the KNOW they're not going to run, much less keep up. And people were walking 4-5 across, blocking runners. I was running in and out of people, around parked cars, it was so annoying. The last 400m did not feel pleasant and I felt the puking coming, but I refused to stop. I wish I had pushed a little harder to break 32:00. (The time, when I finished, said like 44-something, and I had no idea how far back we had started from the first guys.)
Here's the thing: Between the October 10K and the SOME 5K, I did not run AT ALL. I did not train for a race. There was one 400m run as a warmup to one of the crossfit wods, and then I ran two blocks to my car after a wod one night, but that's all the running I did that entire month. I didn't even expect to come close to my September 5K time, and during the turkey trot, I didn't ever feel like I was really trying to run, it was a comfortable jog pace (with a lot of slowing down and zig-zagging, ugh).
New goal: <30:00 5K
Ok, this may seem SO slow for some people. But I have never really run a mile in under 10:00 in my life. I've done some sprints at a faster pace on the treadmill (so you have to go that fast or fall over, you know), but I've never trained for a pace under 10:00/mile.
So, here it goes. I'll try to document stuff here in the hopes that maybe one day someone will stumble across a post or this post and it will inspire them that they, too, can finish a race/run faster/break previous records/etc.
Side note, I still have absolutely no idea how people run a mile in under 7:00. (Ok, I really have no idea how people run a mile in under 9:00. I could see pushing myself to 9:00 pace, maybe, for only one mile though. But faster than that for multiple miles?) And how is it even possible to run a mile in under 5:00?! I just don't get it.
Also, goal: finish line photo that does not look like I am completely miserable.