Saturday, October 1, 2011

Learning to hurt all over again.....

When I made the decision to get healthy I knew that I wanted to be able to run. Why you may ask..simply because I could not. I was never a runner and it showed. The ability to run represented fitness to me. After I started I quickly learned to like it. I started off with a 10km race and followed it up with a second. I then set my sights on the half marathon distance.

My first goal for the half distance was to simply finish, even though in the back of my mind I wanted to be sub 2hrs. On my first half I didn't make it under 2 hours. On the occasion I ran the first 10km in 51 minutes and then suffered for the next 11!! I was 2:06 but I was happy with that...very happy.

It wasn't much longer that I had my second chance. I did make it under 2 hours this time...barely but still under (1:59:15). But I wanted to get faster...and I did. I eventually ran a 1:53! But then I started to get slower and I hated it. Why you ask...triathlon is the answer.

When I was a single sport person I could devote more time and make bigger gains in that area. But the reality was that I needed to learn to swim and throw some cycling in there too. So that meant a little less time for running.

I remember when I was "just" a runner how I could push through the hurt much easier. I think seeing the reduction in my race times got me a bit discouraged. I was losing the mental game in my head. I think I forgot what it was like to hurt when running.

I was making gains in my swimming and cycling but the running was slipping. Throw in lots of endurance training and then I had little time for much speed work for the run. But now that IM training is done with, for now, I have a little more flexibility with this.

Since I resumed activity post IM, I have been focusing on strength and speed. I have been consistent in weight training and building up the muscle groups that I have ignored. But one of the big things has been the speed work in a bootcamp that I do. It is put on 3 days a week and is an hour long class. I am learning to hurt all over again. One of the benefits of this class is the group environment. It is great motivation to keep going when you want to slow down. I push myself into the hurt zone each day I am there.

We do lots of running and that is fine, I can do running. But when you throw push ups, burpees, sit ups, and squat jumps in there it makes it a bit more difficult....just a bit ;). Now you have to learn to run tired and hurting. Much more so than in a triathlon. My first day back at bootcamp hurt more than Ironman...and that is not joking.

I haven't been doing a whole lot of endurance training as of late but I am going to get back into it real soon. But I am hoping that feeling the hurt again will help me when I need it the most. I am going to work on getting faster this year. I am going to hurt and I will love it.