Sunday, March 27, 2011

Running in Place, Sort of

Yesterday, I did my fourth 5k. I started running on April 18, 2010, nearly a year ago, and since then I've been amazed at how much I've enjoyed it and that I've kept doing it.

I think I've already told the story on here of how much I hated running and how I thought I could never come to love it. But running this year has been my saving grace. Don't get me wrong—I still love to ride my bike—but my runs have done wonders for my psyche. They became my "pink shoe therapy."

That doesn't mean I don't have any goals when it comes to running, though. It isn't only my therapy. I also want to improve.

My most significant goal for running is that I want to complete a half marathon by the end of the summer. That will set me up for that pie-in-the-sky marathon goal I have next year. (Yikes!) And I am making some inroads toward that goal. Most weekends, I run eight miles, up from the mile or so I was running when I started a year ago. So that's some progress.
But I'm a little discouraged by how slow I still am. (I know. Slow on a bike, slow on foot.) My first 5k, which I ran back in June, I finished at around 42 minutes. For my second, I was significantly improved, and my finishing time was 38:05. My third, on Super Bowl Sunday, was a complete disaster. Yesterday, I was intent on beating the time of my second 5k and I missed it by 14 seconds.

What does all this mean? I can run much farther now, but I can't run any faster. I don't know if there's a way to improve both simultaneously. Maybe I should do some research. 

Today I should be racing Barry-Roubaix, but I'm not. I'm sore from running yesterday, I haven't trained, my helmet is broken, I can't really afford to spend the entry fee and I need to pack because I'm moving next weekend. There are myriad excuses for why I'm not there.

But there's also a larger issue, and that's what I want to concentrate on this year. I have to decide which goals are most important to me and what my priorities should be. Should I try to run faster? Should I try to run big miles? Should I keep the running to a minimum and concentrate on bike racing? Should I just ride for fun this summer and wait until cross season to race bikes? I guess I have some thinking to do.


Anonymous said...

If I was two years younger I would run and bike with you. I could probably speed you up a little. However I want to stay the picture of health so I'll just ride my Key West Harley and wave as I go by the high speed runners and bikers. Might do a little hill climbing with the "chopper" just to keep in good shape. Glad your staying in shape...DG

Karissa said...

Running is great! I used to hate it at first but now I have become to love it, just like you! Congrats on loving running!

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