sunshine and butterflies

first off, happy national running day!  i don’t know if mine was the “happiest” but i did run :)

i have said before when talking to my friends that running is not always sunshine and butterflies, especially in the pursuit to get faster.  it is hard work, it’s not always fun, and it hurts.  on the way home tonight i didn’t even want to write about this workout, because sometimes i hate showing where my brain goes during these tough runs.  but i know i can always relate to someone having a bad run or being too hard on them self and i know looking back on it down the road will be beneficial.

i have been having some great runs lately, but i expect that with my summer of speed there will be some tough runs.  first of all it’s summer (heat is my nemesis) and it’s speed (which is just hard).  getting faster will not happen overnight and it won’t be easy.  it’s going to be hard work and there are days that are going to suck.  today was one of those days.

when the track workout was emailed out i was actually really excited!  2 sets of 3×800 (1:30 rest between 800s, 400m job between sets) – i love 800s!  i made it over to the track and started my warm up and could tell it was a warm day.   the sun wasn’t really out in full force but it was really humid and muggy and it was just under 80 degrees.  i haven’t been running in this weather much at all yet this season so i should have taken that as clue #1 that it might be a tough day and to factor that into my pacing, but i didn’t.

today i wanted to push myself harder.  we were supposed to run the first set at just slower than 5k pace, and run the second set at just faster than 5k pace – second set being faster.  ha.  after drills and strides we were off…

1 – 3:24.9 oh this feels good i can keep this up
2 – 3:25.8 maybe not this already feels hard, definitely went out too fast
3 – 3:29.9 it’s hot, i cannot make it through another set.  where is your pacing and control aron?

break.  i cannot do another full set, i am dying already, this is not going to happen.  oh here we go again.

4 – 3:33.0 the mean girl comes out.  you are not fast, you don’t want to get faster. this is too hard, let’s quit.
5 – 3:35.8 great job getting slower each time!  ugg.
6 – 3:34.0 i think i need to stop after one lap, one lap done – keep going, don’t be slower than the last one!

total intervals: 3.0 miles/21:03.5/7:01 avg pace

as you can see i had some serious mental battles going on during this workout.  sheesh sometimes the things that go through our heads during tough workouts!  i REALLY wanted to quit.  my legs wanted to just stop running during that last 800 and i almost let them.  they felt SO heavy,  i was hot, i was soaked, i wasn’t having fun, BUT i did it.  i finished.  i pushed through and did not let that last interval be my slowest.

i know better than this.  simply put i went out too hard.  yes i wanted to push myself, but i know better than to push too hard at the beginning.  my favorite part of track is being able to pace myself and save some juice for the end!  i seemed to have forgotten that the last couple weeks, and really needed it especially on a hot day like today when i am not used to it yet.

but, this will only make me stronger, physically and mentally.  i know i can be hard on myself, but isn’t every runner that is trying to get better?  and really looking at my average times,  i would have been thrilled with that a few months ago.  speed is going to take patience and hard work and sometimes i just need to be reminded of that.  it’s not going to happen overnight, and there will probably be more hard, mentally challenging track workouts like this than there will be fantastic ones.  but eventually it WILL pay off and come together and the sunshine, butterflies and rainbows will be out in full force. 

total workout with warm up and cool down: 5.9 miles/50:27/8:33 avg pace

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35 Responses to sunshine and butterflies

  1. Jo Lynn June 2, 2010 at 9:27 pm #

    It was muggy today!
    We all have that bully inside us that makes us feel like crap. Don't let it get the best of you. You *have* to know how good you are. ;)

  2. Tara June 2, 2010 at 9:55 pm #

    It was icky outside today for sure! Even though you were having a tough time you stuck it out, which is half the battle! My workouts have been lacking sunshine and butterflies for awhile, but with the good comes the bad, but I know you're in for much more good than bad :)

  3. Carlee June 3, 2010 at 1:40 am #

    sometimes I think running gives me too much time to think.

    I know exactly what you mean by getting upset with your own inner thoughts.

    sounds like you shut them up pretty well

  4. Jen June 3, 2010 at 2:00 am #

    It is nice to know I am not the only one who suffers this way… and the heat and humidity here makes it hard too.

    Way to push through and get it done!

  5. Christine June 3, 2010 at 2:20 am #

    Some workouts are really tough, but doesn't it feel great once you finish without quitting and you know you did it! Good job on your workout!

  6. Keri June 3, 2010 at 2:45 am #

    I always go out too fast!

  7. Jesse June 3, 2010 at 3:37 am #

    I can totally relate to this post – seems like whenever I go for speed, the run becomes more mental than it does physical.

  8. Denise June 3, 2010 at 4:18 am #

    it's not only speed workouts that get us. i struggled through my entire 10 mile run this morning. before i even started i wasn't prepared mentally and i beat myself up and didn't have fun the entire time. but i pushed through b/c i knew it would make me stronger…

  9. Staci Dombroski June 3, 2010 at 4:20 am #

    I think we can all relate to that!! Way to getting it done :)

  10. Marlene June 3, 2010 at 4:46 am #

    Thanks for sharing, Aron. I have definitely been there. Way to push through the workout despire how tough it was from the earlier laps.

  11. Jocelyn June 3, 2010 at 5:04 am #

    YUke heat and mugginess never play nice. Still you pushed yourself which is a victory in itself! :)

  12. marathonmaiden June 3, 2010 at 5:14 am #

    way to not quit on the workout. sometimes i think that's the most satisfying part of running, knowing you didn't give up even when it was soooo tempting

  13. Petraruns June 3, 2010 at 5:33 am #

    Hey honey — we ALL feel this way and it's reassuring to see that even you, superaron, feel this way sometimes. 800s ARE nasty, running in heat is NASTY, and sometimes your strategy is just completely off – it happens to us all. We wouldn't know the good runs if we didn't have the crappy ones to contend with. You'll kick this workouts ass one day soon – I know it!

  14. jen June 3, 2010 at 5:36 am #

    This post is great- I can totally understand how you were feeling and beating yourself up, but I love that you worked it out after. These kinds of runs make you stronger in the long run. And btw, those were still very solid interval times!! Especially in the heat. You're awesome. :)

  15. alicia. June 3, 2010 at 5:52 am #

    I often struggle through finishing tough runs. I have to constantly tell myself not to quit, because it often feels like quitting would be the most easy solution.

  16. Glenn Jones June 3, 2010 at 7:41 am #

    That's a pretty impessive workout! 1:30 rest in between intervals? That would hardly be rest for me. I'd still be sucking some serious wind….

  17. kristen June 3, 2010 at 7:45 am #

    Does your track coach email you the workout based on YOUR goals, or does everybody do the same workout? Just curious.

    Some runs are just hard. physically and mentally hard. You did it though! That was serious mental training!

  18. All Things Jaime June 3, 2010 at 8:20 am #

    I have similar thoughts during track workouts! Great job getting through it!

  19. J June 3, 2010 at 8:23 am #

    I have had similar thoughts while running 800m repeats and mile repeats! You get to that finish line and just want to stop but know you have another lap to go! Great job on running that workout – definitely looks tough!

  20. RunningLaur June 3, 2010 at 9:45 am #

    Keeping yourself on track at the time is hard – but you have the right mindset that it's all about the big picture. You're so much faster than you used to be, and it'll all pay off! (especially once you're used to the heat – then those fall races are toast!)

  21. seejessrun June 3, 2010 at 9:46 am #

    Don't be hard on yourself. 800s are tough!

  22. Jon Gilchrist June 3, 2010 at 9:52 am #

    great job gutting it out!!! Just made a deposit into your very one "I am great" themed WANT TO BANK….keep it up!!!

  23. Lisa June 3, 2010 at 9:52 am #

    Great job finishing the workout. I would have a hard time doing two sets of three like that. Yikes.

    Remember, it takes a while to get acclimated to weather change.

  24. Amy June 3, 2010 at 10:13 am #

    You did great and you really did not slow down that much.

    The tough ones are whatreally makes us great runners!

  25. Sarah Woulfin June 3, 2010 at 11:08 am #

    You persevered, and I appreciate that you share the not always sunshiney parts of being a runner!!

  26. runner26 June 3, 2010 at 2:43 pm #

    heat is the worst!! but you toughed it out and finished hard! nice work!

  27. Marathon Maritza June 3, 2010 at 2:49 pm #

    Yesterday was so gross and I am SO PROUD of you for pushing through and getting it done. ♥

    Yes, it will pay off, but you already knew that. :)

  28. Jeri June 3, 2010 at 3:44 pm #

    I actually enjoyed this post a lot. I think it's great for us mere mortals to see about you having a hard day. But seriously…. it's so motivating to see someone else work their booty off to get faster without rainbows sprouting out of their hineys at the same time. ;) I feel lke this comment doesn't make any sense at all, so I'll sum it up with: great job on working hard even though it was tough. And honestly, the heat probably explained the 2nd half oh so slight slow down more so than going out too fast. ;)

  29. Heather June 3, 2010 at 5:35 pm #

    Overcoming that mental struggle will help make you a stronger runner. Great workout!

  30. Lindsey and Thomas June 3, 2010 at 6:10 pm #

    Great post. Running is such a mental game. Your body will only do what your mind tells it to and so often are darn minds are telling us we can't do it, so it's great that you pushed through it and completed your workout.

  31. *starr fish June 4, 2010 at 5:42 am #

    I'm delurking to say thanks for posting about your speed work. You're helping de-mystify it for me and giving me the courage to get to the track and just do it already. Clearly it's hard work, but worth it in the end!

  32. Mica June 4, 2010 at 6:17 am #

    Hey, congratulations on beasting through a tough workout! I know those voices that say "Hey, just quit! This sucks!", and you did a great job ignoring them!!

  33. lindsay June 4, 2010 at 4:19 pm #

    the most important part is you didn't quit! and your times aren't thaaaat bad. yeah, off goal pace but i mean you weren't just cruisin at easy pace!

    there are always gonna be bad runs… easy and speed days, but they only make you stronger :)

  34. Adam June 5, 2010 at 8:41 am #

    You're right. I especially think that peopl ewho don't run assume that it is ALWAYS good and easy for us runnres. NOT SO. not so at all.

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