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I suck at running

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I suck at running


After losing weight by eating clean and tracking everything that entered my mouth on My Fitness Pal for six months I signed up for a month of boot camp with a friend. I hadn’t exercised at all – zero, zilch – in those six months but I could do anything for a month, right? Oh. My. Gosh. I found new respect for those ladies! On my first day, in January, the trainer had me fun a mile outside by myself while the other girls ran while passing a medicine ball down the line in the opposite direction. One, it was cold. Two, I had no one to cheer me on. And three, it was COLD! I am fairly self-motivated but this tested the limits. She told me where to turn around. Maybe I could cheat and turn back sooner. Nope! I was going to stick it out. Lungs burning I had to start walking after the first ½ mile. But I couldn’t let the trainer see me walking (right?) so I picked up the pace around the last curve back to boot camp. She clicked the stopwatch and said “12:48”. Almost thirteen minutes. Seriously. I was embarrassed and annoyed. She must have seen the disgust in my eyes because she gave me a pat on the shoulder and said “Don’t worry, most people drop minutes off their mile time in a few weeks.” I know she was trying to be encouraging but all I heard was “you better get faster if you want to hang with us”. Isn’t it funny the pressure we put on ourselves? I finished out the month of boot camp and vowed never to go back. No more burpees for me (so I thought). A week later I ran a mile just to see if I could do it. I ran the whole mile in 9:46. The trainer was right! So I made a goal – complete two 5Ks and one small triathlon by the end of summer.

Cut to April 2013, I started training for a 5K in memory of a friend who passed away from esophageal cancer. Walk, jog. Walk, jog a little longer. I was never able to run the complete 3.1 miles before the race but came close. Pacing? Non-existent. I could run 2 minutes at an 8 min/mile pace then slow to 11 min/mile, then walk. I started the race with two friends and clocked the first mile in 8:46. Four minutes faster than my first mile run in a few back in January! Of course I had to stop and walk a little here and there but my win for the day was that 8:46 minute mile.  I completed my second race a few weeks later – walking and jogging.

That left the third stage of my summer fitness goal – complete a small triathlon. I searched through Team Magic’s (link) website and found a tiny TRI-it-on all girls triathlon for beginners interested in the sport. Full disclosure, I completed a sprint TRI in 2007 at Old Hickory Lake. There’s nothing quite like being kicked and slapped while trying to swim almost blindly through a lake. Remembering that “Come to Jesus” moment I had when I paused during the swim to catch my breath and get a visual on the buoys I choose one with a pool swim this time around. I adapted a training schedule to my work schedule of 24-hour shifts and completed around 85% of the training days. My shins hurt, it rained (and I hate treadmills), I was exhausted after work and I was gaining weight. I had the best of intentions to continue eating clean but that started to slip during boot camp and even more during TRI training. I needed comfort food. After a long shift with little rest all I wanted was a spinach & bacon soufflé AND an asiago breakfast sandwich with egg whites and my bed. I love me some bacon and white cheddar cheese; it has been my downfall. I digress but you get the point. I was exercising and eating like crap.

In mid-August this year I completed the girls TRI-it-on Triathlon. I came in 12th in my age group of 26 competitors – 8th in the swim, 10th in the bike and 24th in the run. I was happy with my swim, had fun in the bike and totally crapped out for the run. I took a little longer in T2 and grabbed a sip of water after putting on my socks and running shoes. I was developing a serious headache. A quarter of the way into the run my head was pounding, my heart rate 207 and I could barely catch my breath. I slowed to a walk. I could hear the other thin ladies huff as they passed me. I was in their way. Don’t get me wrong. It was largely a fun and non-competitive environment except for the serious athletes but it’s hard to keep up with those weighing 60 lbs less than me. I jog/walked the rest of the race and of course ran across the finish line. I finished. I felt accomplished yet totally disappointed in my run. Twenty-fourth out of 26. A 12:10 minute mile. Room for improvement.

So what about you? How did you build up your running stamina?

About Carlye S

I'm a thirty-something desiring to live a healthier life - physically and spiritually. Join me as I share about those who inspire me, recipes, training tips, lessons about clean eating and life in general. Let's get fit, eat clean, and seek the Lord together.

3 responses »

  1. I actually really do suck at running. But, on the up side, I can only get better! I have enjoyed it (most of the time) and am using the C25K program. I guess the more we do it, the better we will get!

    • Love that enthusiasm, playfulpups! We can only go up from here, right? I used the 5K Runner app to train for my 5Ks but didn’t have time to start from the beginning and ramped up too quickly. Back to the beginning. Happy trails!

  2. Your picture at the start of this post says it all! We might not be the best at everything or even come close but at least we’ve taken the decision to get off the sofa and do something about it…


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