March 09, 2009


I recently learned that RC has a serious affection for old karate movies. Not only am I the Grasshopper trying to take the pebble from RC's hand, but now he's going to make me paint his fence. In other words: if I don't start learning how to pace myself, he's going to make me run all my runs on a treadmill.

For some reason, painting the fence sounds a whole lot more fun.

Recap from the previous post: during the Cantrell Center 5k I decided to forgo the words of the Kung Fu Master (ie, RC) and run alot faster than I had any business running. RC was pleased that I fell on my face (my words, not his) because he knew the time would eventually come when my cockiness caught up with me (his words, not mine). That day came sooner than I had expected because, hello, I was being cocky: I didn't really think that day would come.

At any rate, he told me I had one week to get my pacing straight or I was painting the proverbial fence. That week ended a few days ago and I didn't get any scathing emails telling me to get my behind on a treadmill, so I think the scare tactic must have worked. Score one for Grasshopper!

Last week we also moved into Phase III. This is supposed to be the toughest of the four phases. It incorporates alot of quality workouts, and less "easy" runs. In other words, last week I had one "easy run", one long run, and 3 quality runs of varying types. The quality runs consisted of 12 x 200 (and no that "12" was not a typo), a slice down (where I started at a 10:10 pace and sliced 10 seconds off of each mile), and finally my very first real tempo run (2 mi warmup followed by 20 minutes at an 8:30 pace).

I'll be honest with you (and pretend like I think RC is not reading this), but I thought last week was going to stink. I thought "12 - 200s!!!! Is he smoking crack??" And "every day is another killer workout? Who does he think I am???"

And I was did stink. Well, not the running part, just the getting myself motivated to do any of it. It may have had more to do with the fact that I was insanely busy at work and I was trying to plan a trip to Charlotte with Troy, and I knew I was leaving to go out of town for 2 weeks for work. I was just really really unmotivated last week, and I know it was mostly because I was stressed. I even emailed RC and said "what do I do if I'm having an 'off-week'"....his reply: "there's no such thing as off-weeks...running is as much a part of life as eating or sleeping"...I thought "oh dear, what in the heck have I gotten myself into with all of this?" But through it all I knew that my unmotivation had nothing to do with running.

Want to know how I know that?

Because once I did get out there and run, I nailed each and every run like I had been doing it for years (or months....). I just couldn't make myself stop on a run or give up or turn around and go home. Sure, I had some help from Tim on my easy run night to talk the time away, and I knew Walt would want to know how my 200's turned out so I couldn't bail on them in the middle. I even caught myself adding mileage onto all of my runs because I knew over the weekend I wouldn't be running. I just-couldn't-stop-myself-from-running.

And even this morning when I had to do my "scary" long run before getting in the car and heading out of town...I just couldn't stop myself. Now, you might be thinking to yourself: why is a long run "scary"? Well, as if RC couldn't have made all the quality workouts hard enough, in today's long run I was supposed to run 9 miles at a 10:30 pace. Easy enough, right? Now throw in 2 miles at "marathon" pace (9:04) right smack in the middle of it all and tell me what wasn't scary about that? Just hearing the words "marathon pace" and "9:04" in the same sentence get me a little queasy...heck, until last month I was running my 5ks at a 9:04 pace, and now this insane person thinks I can run a whole marathon at this pace??

I finally sucked it up and headed out. All I told myself was that it might be hard, but I knew I wouldn't die. Comforting words, huh? I mapped out my route so that I would throw the two marathon pace miles in somewhere in the middle, around mile four. By the time I got there, I just turned on the pace and went. I figured any looking back would just slow me down, so I just went for it.

And guess what?

It was EASY! I mean, I felt so good through the whole thing that I tacked on an extra 1/2 mile just to see if I could make myself give out. And I couldn't! I kept trying to envision that old feeling of failure that I used to have when I ran...where I'd beat myself up for this or that...where I was always telling myself it would never happen...I would never become as good at this as I want to...and for that entire 2.5 miles, I could not muster that feeling anywhere inside of me.

It was insanely weird, and gratifying at the same time.

To know and realize that I can do this...I am doing this...and this training stuff really works, is alot more than I thought I'd be feeling for this right now. Even RC said he thought I would have given up sooner, or not committed myself the way I have. I don't know what it is, but something just won't let me quit!

On tap for this week:

- 4 x 1000m Intervals (wow...I didn't remember that coming so soon)
- another 5 mile slicedown
- a 5k on Saturday, or if I'm not able to make it home for the weekend 3 x 1 mile Intervals
- and an easy run

(gulp...Intervals are at a 7:50 pace...)

Stay tuned....


RC said...

Very good Amy-sun. Now sand de floor.


Laura Lohr said...

I love reading about your training with RC. At the end, I want to turn the page and find out what happens next. My brain keeps saying, "...and then, WHAT HAPPENED THEN??"

Keep up the good work. You are awesome!