Photo from Mount Royal, Frisco, Colorado.

"That is happiness; to be disolved into something complete and great. When it comes to one, it comes as naturally as sleep." - Willa Cather

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Narcisissm works

I used to think it was narcissistic to admit to being a fast runner. Heck, I even felt that way about trying to be a fast runner.

The first 5k I ever ran was the Canterbury Run in Madison, WI. I tried to stay at the back, despite actually wanting to run faster, because I didn't want to be one of those annoying people who pushed others out of the way.

The second 5k I ran was the Germanfest Run in Milwaukee. I started out running with my friend visiting from France but then thought, heck, it's such a beautiful night; why not run my heart out? So I did and really surprised myself by coming in 3rd woman. I didn't even look at what my time was since it meant nothing to me and I found the whole thing embarassing.

Not long after I met SR, he made it known to me that he was "the fastest runner in La Crosse". This is, of course, where we were living. And I was like, God, he seems like such a nice guy, why would he say something like that?

Shortly after, he invited me to a race with him. It was, appropriately enough, the Valentine's Heartthrob 5k. It was -10F that morning, but that was weather I was used to running in. I had never actually tried to run fast in a race, but I wanted to impress him nonetheless. I came in second woman with a time of just under 23 minutes. And I realized how fun it was. Just as an aside, I have to point out the SR also came in second, despite being the fastest man in the city :).

Since that time, SR has been on my case to train right and get faster. But I didn't really see the point. I figured I was "fast enough" and just wanted my slow spiritual runs. I didn't want days off of running. I didn't want anything to change. And I wasn't fully convinced I'd even get faster.

But then I had a change of heart. Maybe it was becoming a 30 year old mom. I figured if everything stays the same, I'll only get slower and more out of shape, and I was already seeing signs of it. But there was no reason I could not be the fastest I had ever been and in the shape of my life. And why should a 30 year old mom be ashamed to do that?

Since this fall, my weeks have consistently had an 8 mile tempo run, 6 x 1 mile intervals and a long, long run. The days in between are relative rest days, but always involve swimming and usually yoga. In all, I'm definitely spending less time exercising, which works a bit better with my schedule, of course.

Today was my 8 mile tempo run. And I knew it was time to break my training record. I knew I had gotten faster. I ran a marathon in the snow on Sunday, but couldn't even feel it in my legs. It was on my usual route. I ran the first 5k in 22:20 and knew I could step it up. The 10k was in 44:30 and the full 8 miles in 57:14. Okay, it may not sound that fast, but it was just a training run and not a race.

Here are my previous 8 mile tempos on the same route starting in the fall:

63:47 (snowstorm)
57:14 (today)
(you may be thinking there are a lot of missing weeks there, but that is either because we ran a race or trained with the track club that week)

As I made it through the 8 miles I heard Rasmus Seebach sing "hvor er hun dog yndig" and I was sure he was singing about me. I have become such a confident runner. I am excited about trying to break my old PRs this spring and summer. Call it narcissistic but at least call it effective. It is just a question of believing you can get faster and sticking to a plan. Thank you SR! I love you!


Danni said...

If you were truly a narcissist you'd get some cuter running clothes :p There's nothing wrong with being excited about getting faster.

sea legs girl said...

Danni, you should see my non-running clothes; then you'll see how bad the situation truly is.

SteveQ said...

Having that regular workout to gauge progress is something I keep trying to push, but most runners think it's boring.

And being the fastest (or second fastest) runner in LaCrosse? Not much to brag about! Of course, I'll never be the greatest athlete on my block (five-time Olympian grew up a few houses down).

Diana said...

You are awesome! I love your blog, and I love reading about your running. Being proud of your abilities shouldn't be something you should hide. Nothing narcissistic about embracing a gift for speed!

Fast Bastard - World's Fastest Hematologist said...

Hey now. The guy who beat me was from La Crescent, not La Crosse. And I always stated I was the fastest guy in La Crosse, who was out of college, a parent of two... and Danish.

Was I the fastest parent Dane in LaX? I think so.

mmmonyka said...

Hm, I should start doing some tempo runs...
Just keep improving!

SteveQ said...

@SR: Those modifiers are important, but sometimes even they don't help. To be the fastest guy named Steve from the town of Maplewood to finish the Superior 100 Mile, I'd have to get a lot faster!

kathleen said...

found this blog and thought of you.

sea legs girl said...

Thank you Kathleen! Cool blog.

Nicole said...

How exciting! Keep training hard and believing in yourself. You will get faster!

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