Finding My Fast

Last night I went for a run. Instead of doing the 45 minutes of 1/1 intervals that the Galloway training plan for Dopey suggests, I did some speed work.

As I mentioned yesterday, I’m doing Nike’s Find Your Fast Fastest Mile program to help improve my speed/pace.

Last night I had to run 400 meters (1/4 mi) at as close to my goal pace as I could, take a 2 minute break, then repeat for a total of 5 times.
My first 2 quarter miles were both in the low 8s (8’06” and 8’01 respectively) pace wise, but my 3rd and 4th quarter miles were really tough and at one point during the 3rd quarter mile I was reduced to a jog (something right around 14 min/mi) just to keep from throwing up. My 5th was not as fast as my 2nd, but not as slow as my 3rd and 4th. Ultimately, though, I set a new PB.

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Now to spend the next 7 weeks working to shave a minute off of that.

Last night’s workout taught me one very important thing. Getting myself to run faster is not about actually getting my body to move at a higher speed, it’s about making my heart used to working harder.

I expected to be sore and ready to collapse by the time I got home last night. But that wasn’t the case. I was no more sore or tired than I was after any other run.
The only problem that I had was my heartrate being too high during the 3rd and 4th “laps” and having to slow down so it didn’t trigger a gagging or vomiting episode.

Given the fact that in the 9 months that I have been running I’ve gone from gagging/puking almost every time I ran to hardly ever having an episode, I believe that it will just take a bit of conditioning. By the end of this 8 week program I should have no problem going at the faster speeds, which is exactly why I’m doing this.

I talked recently about some of the reasons why, personally, I think running is so therapeutic for me. And this new challenge has lead to another realization. Running helps me because it makes me feel like I’m actually in control.
For a long time I’ve “hated” my body. But not in an self-esteem way (like I look in the mirror and wish I had bigger boobs or a prettier face, etc). It’s more of a “I hate that my body seems to hate me, because it’s so broken” sort of way. Depression and Anxiety, while being mental illnesses do manifest in physical ways as well, such as my heartrate/vagus nerve/gagging problems, physical aches, difficulty breathing (some days it feels like I’m wearing a lead vest all day) etc. Couple that with the actual mental symptoms too and it feels like I’m a prisoner in my own body, at the mercy of my disorders, who can be cruel captors.

But when I run, I feel like I have control again. There may be a bit of a power struggle (see heartrate issues), but with time they can be overcome. When I run the only thing stopping me is the actual limits of what my body can handle (not what my mind thinks it can handle). That is why I set myself lofty goals like #RunAllTheRaces2016, because as one of my Favorite Quotes from Ratattoullie says

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BTW, if someone finds a way to put this on a tech shirt I can run in, I'll love you forever

When I run I am free.

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