I took up running seriously a little over a year ago. I have written a bit about this in a few posts (here and here). I run to get some higher intensity exercise, and because once it’s over I feel like a bad-assed grandma! DAMN! I think to myself, I just ran a LONGGGGGG way! And I’m old! (ish!)
I am not super fit and I am a long way off breaking world records. The only person I am keen on competing against is my past-self. My present-self sometimes needs a kick in that bad-ass to get it moving! My goal is to do 10km in 55 minutes. It’s not unrealistic. I can do 5km in 27 minutes so I should be able to do 10 in 55.
I try and train 6 days a week. Monday, Wednesday and Saturday are running days. Five km on Monday with sprints or hill runs; 7 – 8 km on Wednesday. Tuesdays and Thursdays are gym days for crossfit or cardio boxing, Fridays are yoga and Sunday is a rest day. I sometimes switch the rest day depending on my schedule and other commitments.
As I haul myself out of bed at 5:30 AM, I grumble that I should cut myself some slack, but I repeat to myself JFDI!!! (Just f@#$ do it!!) A great mantra! The self satisfaction I feel when I do get up and exercise lasts me all day. When I am travelling or it’s school holidays I am not nearly as disciplined.
My standard Saturday run is 10km. My best time so far is 56:05.
I run on a nicely made bike path that hugs the coast. I can see and hear the ocean. I join the early morning bike riders, walkers and runners who share the path. Running gives me plenty of time to think. I can live in my own head and burble out a stream of consciousness. Typically, my run sounds like this.
|0 – 1 km||OMG I can’t breath! I am so unfit! Why did I even think this was a good idea. Come on lungs get it together!|
|1- 2 km||Oh there you go! My memory brings backs the good old days in the biochem lectures were I learnt about the anaerobic energy system. That’s right….it takes a little while to kick in.|
|2 – 4 km||I’m hit a steady rhythm; my breathing is not laboured. I should probably go a bit faster. The beat of the music is urging me along. I match my stride to the music. I start to get onto the flow…. I could do this forever! …. Marathon? Yeah, no worries! Easy!|
|4 – 5 km||When is that bloody running app going to tell me I’m half way so I can turn around. These shoes need replacing! Are they actually any good? I wonder about whether I’m hot or cold… I wonder about whether or not I’m breathing properly… my hip starts to give me a bit of a twinge. Great, I’ll be needing a hip replacement next!|
|5km||Veronica (the voice on my GPS) tells me my current speed and distance every kilometre. But 5 km is the turning point – literally. If I am under 30 minutes I know I have a good chance of reaching that elusive 55 minutes goal. If not, I may as well take it slowly.|
|6 – 7 km||My gait has settled back into a good rhythm. Kenny Loggins’ Footloose is almost perfect for my stride (I know I know….) and I pound my feet against the pavement with satisfying synchronised beats. I drift back into the flow and come up with all sorts of good ideas for stories.|
|7 – 8 km||Veronica breaks into my train of thought unexpectedly…and sends me into a flurry of calculation…can I do it? Should I sprint to the end? No wait… I can’t sprint 3 km!|
|8 – 9 km||Push it just a little bit harder, old chook. No pain, no gain! Oh no… here’s that little hill that’s always so welcome on the way out but not now that it’s facing up.|
|9 – 10 km||I can see the car parked off in the distance! Come on! Come on! You can do it!
YOU DID IT!!!
I DID IT!
Darn: 57 minutes and 48 seconds. I begin the self-justification… don’t forget you stopped to do your shoelace up twice, you slowed down to blow your nose at least three times…that should take; what; at least 30 seconds off the time…it’s really 57:18
I feel elated as I stretch on the grass. Not bad for an Old Chook!
I might have 2 minutes to cut off my time. I might need to increase my speed by a full kilometre per hour to average 11kph not 10.
But it’s not impossible.
It’s my goal and it’s just an few weeks away.
Be invincible. Not invisible!