Pushing My Limits

This weekend I achieved a huge accomplishment: I ran seven miles. On top of that, I ran seven miles in 59 minutes and 4 seconds.  Not only is that the farthest distance I have ever ran, it is the fastest pace I have ever been able to maintain for my long runs. I’m extremely proud of myself and my running mate/ boyfriend, Danny. When Danny and I first signed up for the Tower of Terror 10 Miler, he mentioned his goal was to complete the 10 miles in 1:30:00 or under. With a nervous laugh, I agreed that was an excellent goal. I did not think it would be possible, that is, not until now.

 I have been training at a 9:00 minute pace for my long runs, which would put me right at 1:30:00. I figured that once you throw in a few uphill expressway ramps with the heat and darkness, my pace will be a little slower than running on a flat treadmill. Now that I have reduced my pace by a whopping 16 seconds, I feel extremely confident that this goal is possible. Plus I only have a measly three miles to go in my training!

I’m a little frustrated with my mindset during my run.  I knew it wouldn’t be easy from the moment I hit “start”… my gym had removed Bravo from the TV channels on the treadmill. Without the mindless bickering of whatever Housewives, I was left with my iPod to entertain me for the next hour. I have yet to make a workout mix, so I spent a lot of time fast forwarding through Christmas carols and Jack Johnson.

After I finally hit a good patch of music, I began thinking about the time. “I must be at least a half hour in. I’ll run for five more minutes so it will more than a half hour in”. After about three minutes, I removed my towel from the timer it was hiding. I was at 24 minutes. Shoot. Nothing a little rounding couldn’t fix! From then on, I became obsessed with the time. I wasn’t tired, I was just impatient (story of my life!).  I tried distracting myself by counting the number of white cars passing by. That lasted a solid 30 seconds. I took my glasses off so that I wasn’t able to sneak a peek at Danny’s treadmill timer. They were back on 10 minutes later so I could turn and look at the wall clock. Come on Danielle! You are better than that!

I know this is something that I have to change. If I am going to keep running these long distances, I have to find my “zen zone”.  I’ll figure out something that will put a rock garden in my head. Maybe I’ll try a book on tape or something. Any suggestions?

On another note, as a direct result of my run, I have turned into an eighty year-old woman. My knees and ankles are swollen and my back is killing me. This will be a “take it easy” week for sure!

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