For the most part, I feel like running is an activity where you pretty much get out of it what you put into it. Yes, some people have more natural talent than others and have a greater capacity for speed and endurance, but in general, if you train consistently, you will improve. If you don’t train consistently, you’ll lose fitness. It’s a pretty simple equation. For a month or two now, I’ve been training really inconsistently, and as a result, running has been hard.
While I’d like to say that my schedule has let up, it hasn’t, and realistically, it won’t – most likely because I won’t let it. That’s a blessing most of the time, but a curse when it comes to running. I’ll be out of town every weekend in both April and May except for 1 as plans stand right now, and that’s not exactly conducive to long runs. So, if I’m being completely honest, I’ll tell you – I’m not really doing long runs right now. But you know what I am doing? Medium runs.
And medium runs, my friends, are quite an accomplishment right now given that for a little while, I was impressed with myself if I squeezed in the occasional 3 miles. I’m running 4-7 miles now and, while I would have considered those short runs back in the day, they’re longer than I’m used to at the moment and they’re requiring a whole lot of discipline and dedication. I’m teaching nearly every night after work, which means my runs need to happen in the mornings before work (on the 2 days a week I’m not teaching at 6 am and therefore all I want to do is sleep) or at lunchtime (which really only works on days I’m working from home), neither of which is exactly my favorite thing on the planet. But I’m doing it.
I’m doing it and, once I get out the door, I’m pleased to say that I am mostly enjoying it. It’s getting easier again. I’m not huffing and puffing through the first few miles anymore – that starts around mile 4 now (progress?). I know that if I slowed down a bit I’d probably feel better and be able to go farther, but that’s a tough pill to swallow when you’re trying to fit a workout into a short amount of time, so for now, I’m running just a little faster than feels comfortable. They say the only way to get faster is to run faster, right? Right.
Feeling my runs slowly get easier as the days go by is very satisfying, but it’s not telling me anything I didn’t already know deep down. Running requires commitment and it requires time. If you’re not willing to put those two things in, it’s never going to feel easier. And while it may never really feel easy (I don’t know that it has every felt easy for me!), it can feel better, and you can have the sense of accomplishment that comes from making it back to your house without feeling like you’re going to collapse. Related: my life motto is obviously “Aim high.”
So, it’s getting better. I might not be running quite as often or as far as I had hoped to be, but I’m running more and farther than I was before. It’s not perfect, but it’s something, and as momentum builds, I know my speed and endurance will, too. In the mean time, I’ll just keep putting one foot in front of the other.
LEAVE A COMMENT: How is your training going?