Week 4 in the books.
I felt good, the run went well, but I did find it more challenging than I expected. I’m still processing that part.
I don’t know about you, but my nature is that I want to be able to put up a really positive front. You know how it is? You see some old friends and they ask how you’re doing and you smile and tell them about all that is great in life. We’re not so quick to let people in on the struggles, are we?
So far everything I’ve written has been pretty upbeat, positive, life is going great, all that stuff. And I really have to say that that’s how I’ve felt as I’ve written. I don’t believe I’ve put on any kind of front. I really don’t. But I will say that this afternoon, after this morning’s run, I’ve felt… different. I mean, I do feel good, I do feel like it was a good run and all, I can honestly say I feel better than I did after run/walking a 5K, just a bit less than today’s run (which I ran pretty much all the way) back at the end of April. So there are good things to report. And I can say that without putting on a front, but I also have to say I’ve struggled a bit with whether to post anything today because of that different feeling. Because telling about the good is okay, but I’m really trying to make this thing authentic for something I can look back on after it’s all done with. So to do that I have to get into the lows too, don’t I?
And yet having said that, I don’t really know what the lows are. Like I said, it’s a bit of a different feeling.
Maybe it’s just that I got so pumped up and felt so good about my runs this week that maybe I set the bar too high. I loved the pace I ran Thursday, and maybe I expected that pace to keep going, even though it was a 3.5 mile run today compared to 2 for Thursday. Actually 3.8 when it was all said and done. When I ran the Cherry Creek Sneak 5k at the end of April, I did it by running 3 minutes then walking 2, off and on through the race, and did that in 43:39. So I figured this time if I’m running the whole way, and I’ve been consistently running in less than 14 minute miles, I should be able to beat that time for the 5k portion of today’s run.
I shouldn’t set expectations for a training run like that. This is something I’m doing to prepare for a much longer run, not an end in and of itself. But I do have to say I was a bit discouraged that at the end of 5K I was at 45:02.
I know that I can easily justify the difference. The Cherry Creek Sneek is run down the middle of streets. Today’s run was around a park and there was maybe a mile on a nice composite trail, but then a good mile of it was along a very uneven flagstone sidewalk that was very muddy, so you had to run carefully to avoid slipping, The rest of it was pretty much dirt paths. There was a lot of dodging around puddles since it rained a lot the night before. There was a section where I finally decided I needed to walk it because it was so uneven and I wasn’t going to risk turning my ankle. So I do think that if all things were even, I may well have beaten that 5K time.
But the fact is, I didn’t. That shouldn’t discourage me. Maybe that’s the feeling… I just expected it to be better than it was. Maybe I just expected it to be easier than it was. And I think because of the unevenness it was a bit more taxing physically, and so I felt more worn out at the end of it than I expected.
And that leaves doubts. As I’m sitting in the port-a-potty after the end of the run (I know, too much information, but it is one of those places where some pretty impactful thoughts can come up) it dawns on me, yeah, only 3 more laps around the park to make a half marathon. That wasn’t exactly an encouraging thought. Here a couple days ago I’m thinking about if I would want to think about taking it further when this is done, now I’m questioning whether my body can take the demands of a half.
Last post I’m repeating to myself, trust the rest. This post I have to remember, trust the training.
And this is what you call a Bull Shannon moment. This is also one of those I’m dating myself moments – remember the series Night Court? I always loved those moments where Bull Shannon, the bailiff, would realize something and then there’d be the headpalm.
It’s supposed to be this way. I suppose that’s the challenge part of the course title Change Through Challenge. I’m not going to breeze through ever part of it, because if I did, I wouldn’t grow, I wouldn’t get better. These runs are supposed to kick my butt. And this really wasn’t that much of a butt kicking, seriously. I felt like I could keep going when I got done, and I’ve never felt the oh-my-gosh-I-can-barely-walk feeling I felt after the Cherry Creek Sneak. In fact I went and walked 2 and a half miles this afternoon (albeit very very slowly). So this is pretty minor compared to what I’m going to be feeling later.
This is the start of the challenge part of it all. That’s a good thing. Not always easy. But good.