Worst Run…Never?

When I went out, the Weather Channel said it was 44 degrees and the windchill was 39 degrees. I had only packed shorts and t-shirts to run in this week for work. I was really, genuinely reluctant to go out. No, to be honest, I flat out didn’t want to go. A smug sense of pride and an urging from my Beloved made me go.

It was supposed to be an “easy” run day, but because it was so cold I picked up the pace a bit, for warmth and to hurry up and finish this run. Along the way, I decide to make it a pseudo-tempo run. Couldn’t be a real tempo run; it wasn’t long enough, but I decided to keep that “comfortably hard” pace I had started out with going as long as I could. Comfortably hard eventually became straight up uncomfortable, and I felt strangely conscious of every aspect of my run.

Of my horribly runny nose. Of my loose skin bouncing up and down around my hips, butt, and thighs with each pace. Of the grit picked up and thrown by the big vehicles on the Mayo Bridge. Of each gust of wind. Of my achy left knee. Of my toes rubbing in the toe-box of my shoes.

I hated this run. I wished I hadn’t gone out. I was cursing myself for bothering. For not packing cold weather gear. For thinking this was a good hobby to pick up.

The doubts crept in too. If I can’t run 2.3 miles and be happy and comfortable, how will I run 3.1 in 6 weeks and how will I run 13.1 in 4.5 months? (More on that later.) A tear rolled down my cheek as I neared the flood gate on my return trip and I don’t know that it was entirely due to the cold air.

Unhappily, I plopped into my chair and logged my info into my training log, noting the weather, my effort, and anything notable (only that it felt like the worst run ever), and hit save, and once the program auto-calculated all my stats, like calories burned and pace, something strange happened.

The number 10:48 showed up in the average pace box. 10:48? That couldn’t be right. I figured I entered the time wrong. No. 25:25 was my time and that’s what I entered. Somehow, I struck 10 seconds off my pace from Wednesday’s fartlek run, and 20 seconds off my pace from my last run before that.

Looking back on my log, it says I ran a faster pace (10:37) on the same route earlier this month (10/6). I don’t remember that at all, and the only notes I made on that particular run was “Great!” I guess so, Miss Smarty Pants. That was only a week after Warrior Dash so maybe I got a little benefit in speed from the ultra-hard effort of the Dash. I don’t know. I do know that I have been stuck in the 11-12 min. doldrums since April. Heat and the Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever kept me from training too hard this summer, and now I am working hard to play catch-up just to get ready for a little 5K fun run.

But from where I am standing, I think I can actually see something that looks like progress.


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