One month back on the trail and I am, in a word, frustrated.
I knew it was going to be hard and I was going to have to work at it; I did not think it would be harder than it ever was at the beginning. The endurance and pace is not coming back fast enough; the weight is not coming off fast enough. Granted, overnight would not be fast enough at this point.
I have made a full 3 miles; however, the pace was so paralytically slow that I could not take it. I could have briskly walked past myself; it felt like I was jogging in place. I had to fight my muscles back from the pace they remembered. So, instead, I stopped trying to make the distance and just ran until I died, walked for a while, repeat.
Yes, it improved my pace. Yes, it made me feel like I was running again.
Unfortunately, I HATE intervals. With a passion. I have never really done them, even when I was learning how to run. Though that is how most people learn to run. I find more accomplishment in the endurance to run a whole distance straight more than the speed at which I accomplish it.
And I am an addict for that high. Of course I still get the rush at the end either way, when I’m shaking and ready to puke at the finish, but I want that float. I want that bobbing euphoria and runner’s bliss. That is why I love the longer distances: more high.
Yet at these intervals, I can actually run, wog almost as fast as I used to. I run myself out on the way out; then I alternate long chunks of walking and “sprinting.” It works. It kills me, and I get done faster. It’s just not what I want.
I forsook the 5K distance long ago. I miss my 5 miles, 10K, 10 miles. Yet I will not move on to working on those until I can adequately run the full 5K. The whole way, no breaks, no stopping.
That accomplishment just seems so far away. Just like my pre-pregnancy weight.
But I just keep killing myself for it. I hit the trail 3 times a week and run until I nearly vomit (sometimes more than once with these intervals). Plus elliptical and yoga and resistance training. And I am making my peace (not really) with doing intervals. For two weeks, I will permit myself to walk chunks of the return run before I try at the full distance again.
I have lost 9 pounds, with many more to go. I feel the running will become easier the lighter I become. I kill myself to burn the pounds as much as to return to my former running conditioning, if not more. I am a fat girl at heart. I think I always will be. At the slightest opportunity, my inner glutton comes out. There are only so many addictions I can give up.
I am not a patient person. This is hard for me. Harder than trying to run again. But my son was completely worth all this work to get back.
Best 3 mile time (with intervals): 40 minutes