Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Interval running: less fun than slow long distance running

The night before our half-marathon, I told Walker I couldn't imagine wanting to run a full marathon anymore.  13.1 was plenty.  During the race, I decided I never wanted to run 13.1 again (Who's got two thumbs and ran the first half the race at my could pace instead of my should pace?  This girl!).  An hour after the marathon, while still doubled in the unrelated stomach pain that had gripped me for three weeks leading up the race, I told Walker I wanted to run a full marathon.

By the next day I'd come to my senses.  There is no flippin way I'm running a marathon at ten minutes a mile.  It will take FOR-EV-ER.  And odds are I'd start flagging at the end and it would go on even longer.  We cheered folks on at mile 25 and the crowd was already thin and traffic allowed to cross and these people were ripping it up at 8:30 a mile!  I do not want to be one of the forgotten stragglers with not a friendly face for the most grueling miles.  So, we would work on being able to run a solid half at nine minutes a mile (1:57), then go for the full.

At first, I was hellbent on running the Chicago 13.1 on June 9 and the Chicago Half-Marathon on September 9 (yep, those are essentially the same name), because then you get another medal for completing with Windy City 26.2 Challenge, and yes it is totally meaningless, and yeah, you basically pay for the medal by registering, but I get excited like I'm playing skee-ball about these.  And, it isn't totally meaningless.  Running these races to me has meant setting a a goal and accomplishing it, and taking charge of the things in my life that I CAN change and changing them.  And the medal commemorates that, and makes me feel really rad when I wear it to tacos later that day.  Also, I lack the focus to keep pushing if there isn't at least SOME race ahead.  The danger now is that since I know I can run 13.1 miles, I am not stressing on the upcoming 5k.  Shaaa.  So, great, short easy races don't motivate me now.

Anyway, I further came to my senses.  The next big race is Sep 9.  No June half-marathon.  We will aim for 1:57 and be happy with 2:03:33.... though I would feel like a rockstar to finish in under 2 hours.

And now, we are interval training in an effort to improve our speed, that means short fast bursts, and damn, this better pay off.


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