I Wanna Get Better + Announcement

I have a problem.

A huge part of how and why I got hooked on running is how addicting it is to see improvement. On my very first "run" I struggled to run a minute at a time (with walk breaks in between). After a few months, I averaged 12 minute miles and could run nonstop for 3.1 miles. A few months after that, I could run about twice that far. A few months after that, I averaged about a minute per mile faster. In another few months, I could run a few more miles at a time. Then, I could run another minute per mile faster. Almost every run was a new PR. See where I'm going with this?

I got addicted to that feeling. That high that comes with knowing I just pushed my body to a place it had never physically been before. As the girl who found out she had asthma on the first day of track tryouts in the 6th grade and vowed to never run again...that high feels so, so good.

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From the beginning, the quest for the PR - be it distance or speed - has been the driving force behind my running motivation. Small PR, big PR, blew-my-old-time-out-of-the-water PR...I'll take whatever I can get. The only problem is that these days, the PRs are fewer and farther between. And even when they come, the highs don't last as long. It's always on to the next. Just to prove that I can. 

Distance running used to scared me (still does, if we're being totally honest), but every time I attempted to go further than I had before, I knew I'd get there eventually. The pressure is a lot lower when the clock isn't ticking. When I trained for my first marathon, I threw speed out the window. I was okay doing so, because I knew I was working toward a higher goal. It was okay to be a little slower than normal - the point was just to get there. 

Now that I've conquered the farthest distance I plan to ever go, that takes the distance PRs off the table and leaves me with speed. But can I tell you a secret about running fast? It scares the shit out of me. 

Unlike distance, speed is so variable. It only takes one thing to be "off" and then that's it, game over. Any speed dreams you had for that run are now gone. You generally can't make up that time. You just have to try again. And there's something a little dissatisfying to me about that. 
 
And even if you are having an "on" day, it's still tough! It's especially tough when it comes to distance running, not only because it's hard to run far and faster than normal (duh), but it's hard to know how to pace correctly. 

All of this leads me to my next goal race: the Richmond Marathon. I have some thoughts floating around about what time I might want to shoot for, what time I think I might realistically pull off, and what time I will (and will not) deem acceptable. I can't just let speed go this time and take whatever time I need to get to the finish line.
(in case you were wondering: yes, I have listened to this song approximately 40 million times recently)

I haven't exactly figured out yet what "better" means. It might mean one second faster, it might mean 30 minutes faster. I honestly have no idea yet (but hoping more for the latter, tbh). 

And in the spirit of training, getting better, and doing our thing, Alyssa and I have been cooking up something fun! In Alyssa's words:

We like to talk about our training with one another, and a good deal of our readers seem to like sharing their training wins and woes with us too. So we're proposing a monthly blog party where we can all link up to talk about our training goals, spread some always-appreciated motivation, encouragement, and support, and hear about what everyone's working toward.

Whether you've got a race or a tri coming up, whether you're just trying to touch your toes through a new yoga practice, whether you're trying to hit that next deadlift goal, or whether you just want to run one mile without stopping, we want you to share your training triumphs with us and others. We want to give us all a space to talk about what we're working for, introduce readers to others in similar boats and create a strong, motivational, supportive training community. All will be welcome — no goal is too big or too small.

We'll both share some more about the linkup details when we get closer, but for now I just want to know... are you in?

8 comments :

  1. I'm in! Sounds like fun.

    I've been really really slacking in the running department after deciding to forego the full marathon this December and do the half again instead... I need to get back on top of things.

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  2. Yes! You already know I need all the help/motivation I can get, and maybe talking about it a little bit more on my blog will be another way to help hold me accountable to get back in the swing of things.

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  3. We're so alike in the PR chase. I do enjoy running for running, but even if I didn't like the act itself, I'd keep at it for the feeling I get when I hit a PR. And I can turn any small milestone into a PR, hah. But they all matter, they all count, and they all keep my feet moving.

    I have a race goal in mind for the half, but I'm going to wait until I hit 13 in training to make it the "official" race goal. Outwardly, my race goal is just to finish and run the whole thing... but let's be honest, I want to clock a certain time too :) But I don't like to make race goals without some sort of baseline, ya know? I know as soon as I finish this race next month I'll already be thinking on a time goal for the half I want to run next spring, hah!

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  4. I love this link up idea! I'm in. Okay you've nailed my feelings. I feel like I've done the distance thing but now I need to get faster and that's so scary. I'm actually more scared of doing 10 km races than a 1/2 marathon! But it's time. My goal is to run a 10 km in 40 minutes so I'm so so in

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  5. Totally in! Im no where near as fit as you two but Im definitely in!!!

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  6. I love the idea of this link up, you girls are fabulous.
    I used to be like that with the PRs and pushing myself every time I would go for a run, and then I hurt my knee pretty bad, and then I hurt my ankle pretty bad. So I took a little time off, and then took a lot of time off. Now I'm nowhere near as fast as I was, nor can I go the distance I used to deem 'easy'. It's so discouraging and slightly depressing, which is horrible but it's exactly the downfall to chasing the highs, you know? I know I can get back there, but reaching these goals for the second time don't give the same high, so it's hard to keep pushing. It's not like I'll ever run 100 miles in one go, or a 4 minute mile, so where does it stop?

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  7. dang girl good luck! and I'm curious to see the link-up!

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  8. Yes I am IN!!! Can't wait to hear more about the linkup!!!!

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