Thursday, April 21, 2011

Your biggest fan and Speedwork in a Sauna

Today Speedwork 10 x 400.  Last one before my Half Marathon (May 1st).  I do these at the gym or today I should say the sauna.  When I got there I knew this would not be good.  The windows were all foggy, the front door was open, not a good sign.  Well I looked at the temperature inside: 89! YIKES!  This sucked big time.

I have come to like speedwork (but not at 89 degrees!)  I feel like crap at the end, nausea for a few hours after, but during the workout it feels pretty good to push the old body. 

So I am supposed to do the repeats at 5k pace, for me would be around 9:30 and I did these at 8:13.

For ME 8:13 is fast.  For others it is VERY slow.   After 5 repeats I started thinking about some of you who are really fast machines and can go 50 miles at a pace much  faster then 8:13 and some of you who are just coming back from a serious hip injury and just ran Boston and were at  the half point under 2 hoursI was telling myself between repeats:  "You should be able to go faster then that." 

Now why do we do this to ourselves?  Being so hard on ourselves.  I read a lot of blogs.  And for the most part we are all like that.   We write things like "The goal is to finish, the time does not matter" (most of the time that is a big fat lie)  then race day comes and we finish and we are not happy with the time.  Well then the goal was not just to finish otherwise we would be happy and content with what we did.  Right? For my first half marathon that is what I said, the goal is to finish, it was true, that was the main goal, but I would be a liar if I said there was NO time in my head.  There was.   Was I happy with my time? On that day I was happy that I finished.  That is the truth.  Now looking back I am not happy with the time and I want to do a lot better in 10 days and if I don't I will not be happy.   How much better is enough though? That is THE million $$ question. 

I am a fan of everyone who can run any distance faster then me.  I am a fan of everyone who can run a marathon because I have never ran a marathon.  I am a fan of people who can accomplish extraordinary things with the same body parts I have or less.    My 40 yrs self would be a fan of my 42 yrs old self because at 40 I had not ran a half marathon, heck I could not even run a mile without walking.   Is my 42 yrs old self a fan of mine? She should be right?  I can run faster, I can run longer.  I should be my biggest fan but it is a hard thing to do.  It is hard to find the balance (I am not a fan of that word!!) between pushing ourselves to do better and being able to recognized we did something pretty awesome that most people will never accomplish.  Last week my long run was 11 miles.  It did not go well.  It was slower then I wanted, I had to stop and walk a few times.  I came home and I was discouraged and my husband said : "How many of our friends can run 11 miles you think?  ZERO"  PERSPECTIVE

I posted a video of people finishing the Boston Marathon here .  In it some people are really struggling to  cross the finish line, some collapsed while others seconds behind them did push ups to celebrate their finish!  For me the ones who collapsed  showed great determination and will power.  It does not disturb me to see these images (not that I enjoy seeing people suffer, of course I don't), but it makes me admire these folks.  They pushed their body to the limit.  When I finished my Half Marathon, I was one of those people, I had to be "rescued" by a medic.   Would I prefer finishing doing a cartwheel? Yes of course (even though I cannot do one!!) ..but I would always choose finishing needing the medic over not finishing at all.

17 comments:

Teamarcia said...

Gosh it is such a fine line between demanding more of ourselves and being overly critical. I think we get into trouble when we start comparing ourselves to others as running talent and determination are such individual things.
That Boston video is cool! Thinking back to the finish area in Boston, there was SO much carnage! And I remember wondering why as the weather was good and these were supposed to be some of the best runners. But In retrospect i think its precisely that type of runner that pushes him/herself to the limit.
I'm excited for your upcoming half! I'm doing a half that day too!

Awesome job in the sauna! Yuck!

Darlene said...

The treadmill where I work (on the stage in the gym) is like a sauna & I feel like passing out when I use it. I love the warm weather outdoors - please send some my way!!!!!!

Darlene said...

BTW: I am doing the Santa Clarita Half on Nov 6. Is that anywhere near where you live?

(Just) Trying is for Little Girls said...

10x400 @ 8:13--awesome, awesome, awesome. And, that heat and humidity is no joke--I know I couldn't have accomplished your workout on that stupid treadmill in Fiji. I am so very impressed.

Here's to May 1!! A day for PRs and making dreams come true.

Pam said...

Way to rock that speed workout! 8:13 is way fast for me!

Nelly said...

Great post - what you talk about above is exactly what I think about a lot. How fast should I be? How fast are my friends going? How fast are other people going? I've realized that comparing yourselves to others doesn't really help all that much. I do have one friend who we are generally always the same speed, so I know that I am in good shape if we are both pushing each other. Comparing yourself to Kara Goucher will only make you feel bad, haha Everything is relative.

In terms of doing races and what time you get, I've also started to think that while time is important to me - as long as I give my best effort I'm satisfied. Getting a certain race time is comprised of a lot of factors - current fitness, hydration, weather, and luck. Sometimes all of those factors come together, sometimes they don't. All you can do is give it your best effort. I have found that my max heartrate during races shorter than 14K is 180 beats per minute - so if my heartrate is at this level, I know I went all out and gave it everything I had. You could try to find your corresponding best effort heartrate, and just run at this heartrate every race. Because while your max sustainable pace might vary, your max sustainable heartrate won't really change that much unless you are running over a much shorter or longer distance (5K race heartrate should probably be higher, marathon heartrate should be lower).

Good luck in the race, you'll do fine!

RockStarTri said...

This is a great post. I think that everyone who says they just want to finish always has a secret goal time that they whisper to themselves. I always do - even if I won't admit it. Perspective is so important.

Vanessa @ Gourmet Runner said...

What a great post. I find it hard not to compare my performance to others. Great time on the 400's, by the way--and at those high temps!!!
:)

XLMIC said...

Woman... you are a ROCKSTAR! This is a great post... and you did amazingly on those 400's. I am super impressed :)

Caroline said...

@Darlene: about an hour away
@ xlmic thanks!
@ Kim: yes! Here's to May 1st !!

Kate said...

8:13 would be a smoking pace for me. One of my goals for this summer is to get faster on the short runs. I try to remember things like what your husband said. Almost all of my running friends are faster than I am (but you know what, they're my running FRIENDS and I still belong), and that's ok with me. I'd like to get faster and stronger and be able to run longer, but I also keep in mind that I've only been running a year. Most of the time I'm happy just appreciating all the amazing things other people can do and being inspired by them to try something new. Most of the time. :)

Big Daddy Diesel said...

I might be the exception. I did have a goal time for mine, I did not make it, but I wasnt upset, as you can tell, I was freaking happier then in a kid locked in a candy store that I did finish.

Barefoot Neil Z said...

Don't confuse goals with expectations. You set goals for your race in training, but you must adjust your expectations based on the results of that training. Being realistic is important, but it doesn't hurt to give yourself a stretch goal!

Keep working!

Jim ... 50after40 said...

Great post - I fully admit,I am WAY TO COMPETATIVE WITH MYSELF! But I find it a little disingenuous when people say that time doesn't matter. It's funny, "time doesn't matter" but these folks can often tell you EXACTLY what their time was. I don't think there's anything wrong with always wanting to better yourself as long as you keep it in perspective! Can't wait to hear about the half - you'll be awesome!

Black Knight said...

Is this the tapering week? Good luck on the half.
Have a good Easter.

Caroline said...

Taper is this coming week.
thanks!

Jess @ Blonde Ponytail said...

Great post Caroline! 89 degrees can mess with any workout and you knock your out! I fall into the comparison trap at times, but I like how you used it as a motivator!!