Not the literal kind of choking (that would be scary) but more of a figurative kind of choking. Yesterday, I made up my mind to attempt to run a fast 3 miles. (*Fast is relative, haha. Fast for me! Maybe slow for you.) But somehow, all day today, I managed to psyche myself out. That attempting this run was going to be embarrassing for me. That I couldn’t do it. Negative self-talk . . . not good at all. Still, I packed my gym bag.
5 pm came and I knew I had to at least try. So with all good intentions mixed in with a dose of negativity, I set out on my run. Running indoors on the track, that is 🙂 What do you think I am, crazy?! Run outside in Texas this time of year, AFTER 5pm? Pssssshhhh. (Kudos to my friends who are in a Couch to 5K running class – it meets at 5:30 pm twice a week. Eeeek.)
I may sound like I’m whining here or coming up with an excuse but I have to say, I really wished I had my Garmin to help me with my pace. I wanted to run the first mile in 9 min., the 2nd mile in about 8:45 and the 3rd mile in 8:30. Alas, I was Garmin-less (due to lack of footpod that could give me the pace info) so again I had to run by feel. I ended up running the 1st mile in 8:50. During that mile, about lap 7, I began to feel a little something-something happening in my system. Not good. (Why oh why did I eat a fibrous granola bar an hour before I ran?!) So, I quickly finished that lap and the next and off I went to the restroom some 25 feet away. Whew. Crisis averted, enough said.
However, once I started running again to begin the 2nd mile, I felt drained of energy. I wasn’t hurting any more than usual but I didn’t feel right. Add to the fact that I was winded from that first mile, I just tried my best to keep going. The most I did was half a mile, in 3:51. Walked the rest of the laps to complete the second mile.
Sigh. Not exactly what I had in mind.
I started running again, to do the 3rd lap. I completed a fast 1st lap, in about 1:10, then started on another lap. However, I slowed down to a walk when I saw a friend of mine walking along on the side. He had a back injury so I just decided/given up and talked to him instead.
Finished another half mile.
I guess if you counted the first mile & a half, I did it in approx. 12:51. Runkeeper says it’s about an 8:34 min/mile pace. I feel good about the fact that I did push myself to run faster instead of my usual 10 min/mile pace. But still. Why do I let my mind get the best of me? I KNOW my body can keep going but it’s like my mind gets so scared. Then my fear just takes over and I end up stopping. Choking.
But you know what? I’m not going to spend the rest of my evening beating myself up over a bad workout. It is what it is and there is no use in thinking what could have been. Tomorrow, I am going to strength-train and lift some weights and on Thursday, I’m going to get back on that track and run again. I don’t know if I’m going to do another “fast” 3-miler. Most likely, I am just going to run 5-6 miles in my 10 min/mile pace and enjoy it. Strength-train again on Friday and then do an early (7:30 am) Saturday run to give my 3-miler experiment another go, outside.
Why do this Saturday morning workout, you ask? I’ve entered my town’s 4th of July 5k race on Monday morning, 7:30. I really don’t think I can beat my old 5k PR due to the heat, but maybe I will since I’ve managed to acclimate myself to the temperatures. However, I’ve been running at a pace of 9:30 min/mile to 11:30 min/mile at any given time. Not the new 5k race pace I want. So, I am going to try on Saturday to mimic Monday’s race “conditions” and just see. That would give me Sunday to recover and then race on Monday.
Again, it is what it is. I’ve said this before but I’ll repeat it. Like my friend Tori at Running Funnier said, I don’t regret the runs I do. I regret the ones I don’t.
I ran and worked out. I chose to do something physically challenging instead of going straight home and sitting on the couch. I choose now to remain positive about my training and to not get down on myself due to lack of speed. I choose to remember that though I might not be as fast as other runners, I have built up endurance (hurrah for running 13.1 miles in 2:13:13! I have to remind myself of what I am capable of doing. Pep talk right here.). I choose to be active, to take control of my physical well-being, and to honor the Lord by taking care of my body.
What are you choosing to do today?