Spartan Shape-up, Day 62:
Dear Blog. I am frustrated with myself today. Like, I would love to have a heavy bag to beat the crap out of right now. Grr. I know many people read blogs to be inspired and be motivated, and read shiny happy quotes... well, that's not where I'm at today. What I can tell you is that what I will tell you is real, and where I'm actually at.... AND that I still did my workout, even when it's not easy. I hope that can be a certain sort of motivation.*That* I did it, I'm reminding myself, is the important thing. However, let me tell you what's going on with me today, Blogosphere.
New job stress is killing my sleeping habits. I was (am?) tired and cranky. Came home from work, immediately sneakered up, so I didn't fall into the 'sit on a couch for a second' trap. I will admit, I was a bit sore/stiff from yesterday's new workout, so I decided that today was a good day to test out a new - FLAT (ish) - route. The thought of facing the hill-tastic usual workout, was feeling a little bit boring, as well as not really what my legs were into today. SO, fired up the tracker and decided to brave a "city" (my city is small.) run. No plan, just run and aim to clock in somewhere over 3mi. And, - here's where my downfall began - I was thinking that I could probably improve my time a little bit, seeing that I would be on the flat and wouldn't have the hill(s) to blame for my tired legs.
Commence run. Initially feels nice to be running on the flat. Feeling like maybe my muscles are warming up and loosening up. At least that's what I was hoping. I kept plowing forth. My legs just kept feeling like weights today, though. Like I was trying to run through mud. Less than halfway through, I started having the "I want to walk" argument with myself (while still forcing myself to run slowly). I could breathe okay today, but I felt like I just didn't have the gas. Kept pushing, sweating, swearing (in my head) and gritting my teeth. Ran some loops around town. Got progressively more frustrated every time my app would notify me of my time and distance (yes, I was doing rough math in my head about what my speed was). One of them, somewhere around the 2 mi mark chimed in, just as I was slowing up to a real slow run for a 'break'... And I swear, I just wanted to stop there and cry (more on that after.). Angrily (at myself), I pushed forward and looped back around home at 3.28 mi. And I felt so... GRR.
Time: 37.22 min
Distance: 3.28 mi
Average min/mi: 11.35
Here's why I was finding that so upsetting. I have been running this distance of at least 3 mi. (or pushing through this distance) for weeks now. And my time for - on the flat - that I was thinking was going to be faster and give my confidence a little boost, was comparable to my last run that included a long slow hill, a steep shorter hill and and overall longer distance. WTF?
Yes. You read that right. If you read back in the blog, you will find that I ran today's nice flat run, at nearly the same pace as I ran my last run, up a bunch of hills, over a longer distance.
This causes me to be frustrated with my body. In my head, I was thinking that surely, if I was running these damn hills all the time, when I got to the flat, we'd really see what I could do and I would have a better mile time to hold onto as a badge of accomplishment (and reassurance that I won't look like an idiot if I sign up for a 5K). This was apparently not the case. I could try to blame this on yesterday's workout, but I am almost always running the day after some sort of weight/strength workout that involves some sort of Squats of Death. Instead, my head just pretty much got overwhelmed with annoyance that my body seems to be lagging behind in progression. I'm doing the work, but where is the progress?!
So, I ate dinner, tried to chill a little bit and regroup. Sometimes I need to stop and remind myself that I'm still building the pieces of the puzzle. It's not going to happen overnight. I WANT it to, but physiologically, that's not possible. I can see that my leg muscles are building up, I can see that my breathing is 100 million times better than when I started (I don't feel like I'm hyperventilating! yes!), I can see the consistency... Now, I just need to remind myself that there may be other things (like losing the weight I need to lose, or just putting in the time for conditioning), that may need to happen first. My brain's schedule is not my body's schedule.
Anyway, that's that. I'm okay. I'm excited to challenge myself at tomorrow's workout (GT says I must aim for more swings in 20 sec.... hmm...), and I'm still on track. However, if you want to hear it like it really is, then you should know that my positivity train definitely derails sometimes. This journey is not without its pot holes, flat tires and mountains to climb. But sometimes, the greatest feat (for me) is just starting fresh the next day, despite it all. I can do this. I will do this, even if it takes me forever.
... but I'm still annoyed at today's lousy mile time.