I guess I should clarify that title and point out that no, I’m not actually ON speed. Instead, that’s what I’m been musing on today- running speed. Today my run was 4 miles which I completed at a 9:38 minute/mile pace. As I was running, I was thinking a lot about the different bloggers I read and people I know and how for most of them, that would be an intentionally slower recovery or easy run, or alternatively a run where they felt they failed, but for me, it’s a working-hard-REALLY-pushing-it pace. Sometimes when I read those bloggers I think that I must not be trying hard enough and that I just don’t have the mental stamina to push myself. I think that if I really did, I would be able to run much faster. Then, when I’m out there and doing it, I realize that I AM pushing myself, or at least my heart rate and the fact I can't breathe says I am…unfortunately that push just isn’t making me go much faster I guess. ;)
To be totally fair, if you had told me 2 years ago that I would be able to run 4 miles at a 9:38 pace, I would have been absolutely thrilled. Running has not come naturally to me at all, and I very distinctly remember times when I said that no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t get below a 10-minute mile, which seems to be the pace that many people assume beginners can run. I can’t even begin to express the elation I felt when I finished my 10-k this February at just over an hour. I had never run that fast before and never expected to that day, and at that moment, the world seemed wide open of possibilities.
But since then, I seem to have hit a bit of a plateau. Perhaps part of it is related to expectations- after all, I haven’t been running very long and I certainly haven’t been running un-injured very long. And I’m sure many people would point out that in the grand scheme of things, February is only a few months ago and you can’t expect improvement that fast. There is no doubt at all, though, that I need to do more speedwork- randomly running faster one day and calling it a tempo run probably doesn’t really count. But I also I wonder how much of it is just human nature, and the better you get at something, the more where you are doesn’t seem quite good enough and you want to push harder, faster, better? I should also mention, just in case it isn’t clear, that I really only apply these standards to myself and have never, ever heard someone else’s pace and thought they were slow. The logical part of me knows we all start somewhere and have different natural abilities too. It’s really my own expectations, wishes, and most of all impatience that I’m comparing against.
Anyway, I have no doubt that I’ll keep at it and eventually I will get some faster. I’ll continue to be frustrated at times but maybe that’s all part of the process. And I might never be the speediest person out there but the super-positive mary-sunshine part of me does say, hey, at least I AM out there!
On a completely unrelated note, I had an amazing lunch today:
If you haven’t had this yet, you seriously should run and buy it now. It tastes better than almost any pasta I’ve ever had in a restaurant. Seriously, every time I go to Target (my Harris Teeter doesn’t carry it), I buy at least 2 packages. Yum.
And now...I'm ready for the weekend!