Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Fat Tuesdays : Running Faster

Last year's marathon training did not go as I would've liked. At first, when I was running every day, I felt really strong and great. But when I stopped that, which I needed to do because I was worn out, my training level quickly dropped to nearly nothing. I barely made my mileage and I didn't complete the marathon I started. With my retail job through Christmas, getting any running in felt like a massive accomplishment and I still didn't hit my weekly mileage goals. This meant that I ended 2016 just thirty miles shy of the 1000 mile challenge, which is fairly pathetic. Even getting out for one extra mile per week would've sealed that goal! To say my running aspirations for 2016 left my disappointed, is almost an understatement. I just ran out of steam...and time, I guess.

So it's 2017, and I'm happy to be back on track with running. I've quit my shitty job and am actually dedicating time to running, though it's not necessarily easy. I'm finding that I'm still having a hard time getting up and getting out. But when I am out, I notice that my times haven't really improved...even last year, I wasn't really running any faster.

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This bugged me for a while. I mean, isn't the goal of every runner to run faster? Shouldn't I be shooting for a faster marathon? But if my previous attempt was any indication, avoiding running slower was paramount...and then I didn't finish.

As I've finished runs that weren't as fast as I wanted, over and over and over, I try to tell myself that I'll get faster. I'll get back to regular training. I'll stay on top of my mileage, and I'll get faster. It's the natural progression; run more, run faster. But I'm not really sure that's what I want.

I want to run races where they honor their cut off times and don't allow vehicles to force me off the road, but I don't want to run fast enough to sign up for races with shorter cut off times. It would be nice, to have a whole world of races open up to me, but I can stick with the races that allow slow runners and enjoy myself. When I think about what I really want for running, it's not to run a sub-6 marathon. It's just to run a couple more marathons and do keep running half marathons for...ever. But first, sticking with my running plans.

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