Your good day, my bad day

I used to love the tv show, Mad About You (yes I am old). There was an episode once where Paul had had a particularly bad day and Jamie had had a great day. His film was rejected and she got some great assignment at work. The give and take of being in a relationship when one partner is up and the other is down was played out with particular humor as I recall.

I’ve been feeling that way about running lately.  While I’m still putting in my miles, and still working hard – I feel like my hard work is not paying off.  I’m feeling great with regard to my shoes (my planar isn’t bugging me very much), my blood pressure meds seem to be working well, and I’m following my training plan for Disney.  But I swear I’m getting slower. I feel like I’m moving and yet the stats for each run just depress me.  My pace is inching closer to 13 min miles.  Yuck.  I was doing 11:30 miles before – and I have no clue what is going wrong….I really need to sit back and think about the issue – but I don’t seem to have time lately. Or maybe I don’t want to face the fact that I really need to drop some weight and it’s not really happening.  🙁

On the other day – Steve is having some really great runs – and I’m focusing on being proud of him rather than wallowing in my misery.  He ran the Spartan 5K at our University last Saturday – and got 3rd place in his age group!  Woo hoo!  He actually shaved over 2 min off his time from the same race last year!!  The kids were so excited that he got a medal. (And he continued his streak of winning a “door prize” each time he’s run this race.) This race actually has a few obstacles in it – hay bales to hurdle, tires to run through, cargo net to crawl under – so it’s a bit more than a simple 5K.  But clearly Steve powered through it….so fast we hardly had time to find a seat in the bleachers.  It’s also a fun race to go to as we both tend to have students who either run the race (like the semester the whole swim team ran it) or who are on the cross-country team who helps organize it. One of my current students beat Steve’s time a minute and a half!  And another one came in a few minutes after – but his mom was there and she took third place for her age group.  Fun stuff to be a part of.

I worked hard not to think about where I would have finished (hard to really calculate with the obstacles)….and I tried to take comfort in the fact that I would still have finished before the last man in – he was in his 70s and finished in 48 mins or so. But I really put all my energy in cheering on Steve and being really excited for him.

Of course this doesn’t mean that Steve’s not above egging me on about my speed anxieties. This week I bought a clip on strobe light – the darker hours are really a drag and a safety issue – and I was trying to figure out how it worked.  Steve’s deadpan help, “You clip it on and get running – once you’re faster than 10 min miles the light turns on.”  I really should have smacked him.

Here’s hoping the light works well on my 8 miler in the morning…..and here’s hoping I can shake off the speed issues and just GO – after all it was the tortoise and not the hare that was smiling at the end of the race……..



3 thoughts on “Your good day, my bad day

  1. Hey, you know I’m not speedy either. And I seem to be going through the same thing. I’m slower than I was this time last year. And I have *NO* idea why. That, plus, I don’t seem to be able to manage more than 2 miles without collapsing, while last year I was doing 3-4 miles at a go. An 8-miler is something I’ve never even contemplated.

    Basically, I have to keep reminding myself that all the points I get come from the choice to persevere. That’s the hardest part anyway.

  2. Wow – somebody understands how I feel! When I’m running consistently, I hope to run long runs at a 9:30 pace and 5K’s at a 8:30 pace (and that’s after running most of my life). I coach soccer with a guy who is a truly elite athlete. Olympic medalist in crew at the Atlanta games. When I think about it, I think crew probably is very similar to running in terms of the mental toughness needed to push through the wall, so it probably is good preparation for running. A couple of weeks ago, my friend ran the Army 10-Miler after running a grand total of 12 times OVER THE LAST YEAR! Afterwards, he complained that he should have pushed himself more because he still had too much left in the tank at the end of the race. His pace? 7:26/mile! He’s not even a runner! It can definitely be de-motivating, which is why it’s important for those of us who just want to finish, and maybe go a little faster than the last time, to stick together!

    • I hear you….I admire the elites…but it’s hard to wrap my head around being at that point in life. Of course – maybe others would point out that in some areas of life, I’ve been “an elite”…for example not everyone goes to college and grad school. “But I don’t get Bs – I only get As” is foreign to some…..but I’ve long wished that physical skills came easier to me…..So I slog on through in my non-elite status. And while I admire those who are……I wonder if they really cheer us on to just finish or do they secretly think, “Whew – they’re pretty bad….” 🙂

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