That exact blog title has been circling my head over recent weeks. I’m slow. I know I’m slow. I keep getting slower. I’m so slow right now that my qualifying times for runDisney are currently over two years old.
According to the internet: I undertrain. I overtrain. I train poorly. I train at the wrong times.
Whatever I’m doing, I’m training.
My coach calls me lazy because I don’t have the drive to run six days a week in order to get a BQ. He thinks I can do it even if it means I would basically have to cut my pace in half and actually compete in a marathon. He has faith in me but acknowledges that I’m too lazy to get around to doing that. He does not think my training is lazy.
Sure I miss training runs because work is insane. But I make them up. Sure I sometimes run really slow, slower than humanly possible. And sure I sometimes would rather stay in bed than run. But I train. I follow my schedule. I do what I’m supposed to do (and no more).
My coach doesn’t call me lazy because I’m not running but because I lack the motivation to compete at a higher level. I call it lack of a single competitive bone in my entire body. Why compete when you can have fun instead? We’ve been over this, running is not fun for me, nor would I devote my life to it. Although in training for Noway, my life has been a little consumed.
When I started running, I couldn’t run to the corner of my street. I wasn’t sure I could make a 20-minute mile. I weighed 130 pounds (at 5′ 2″) and was fairly healthy for me (the myriad of health concerns I have would fill an entire blog). Within a few weeks of barely training, I was averaging a 10:30 training pace and could run six miles without blinking. I was slowly increasing my mileage each week for my first half marathon. Sure I’d never ran a 5k, so why not sign up for a half. By the time the half rolled around, my training runs were dipping below a 10 minute average and I was running some distance. Except, my arm, long ago operated on, was not going along with this plan. I ran, I fell a lot, I ran some more.
Then I had my second ulnar nerve transposition. Now having your nerve once is pretty rough, but having it done a second time, now that can kick your ass. And it kicked mine. For weeks, I was stuck in bed. I couldn’t walk because I had a 12 pound splint on and moving leg made the nerves in my arm hurt. Yeah, strange how things are connected like that. I gained 40 pounds. Yes, 40 pounds. Blame the huge amount of potatoes Artboy made me for dinner every night. And they say vegetarians are skinny!
When I started running again, it was rough. It was slow. But I was doing it. But something wasn’t right. I was swollen and having strange pains. It took a long time to be diagnosed and I kept going through all of that. After much struggle, I trained down to about a 11 minute pace for a half and then had surgery again.
That was back in July. I’ve been struggling to break a 12 minute mile ever since. I actually did it on a few 10ks, but not on a half yet. Yet!
I switched to the Galloway intervals after my arm surgery. I couldn’t run more than four minutes without my arm going numb, so I ran 4/1. After the cyst removal, I started back at 1/1. Then 2/1. Then 3/1. And then I played to find something comfortable. I was inching closer to that under 12 for a half. I was actually inching closer to 11 minutes!
But Norway is coming up. Norway, land of ice and snow, and freezing temperatures that will wreak havoc on my if I walk. So I started running more, walking less. And then running even more. I can now go about 4 miles without stopping at all. About 7 miles with only a couple very short 15 seconds or so walks. I’m working myself up to more miles over the next 10 days. BUT….there is a but. I am slow! Slower than when I walk.
With intervals I was inching lower and lower and feeling good. Now I’ve inched back up, closer to 12:30/13 minute pace. How is it that I can run straight slower than I can run/walk. Oh I know the science, and the recovery, and the logic behind the interval, but the reality is a bummer.
It’s rough to be slow. It’s even harder when you used to be faster. For a while I was down on myself: why wasn’t I improving? But then I realized that I’m still out there, still trying. I keep finishing. Sure I’m slow, slower than last year, even slower than 2011, slower than last week even, but I’m out there.
So I somehow transitioned from slow to slower, but I’m actually okay with that.