After my glowing post about completing the first of four races in the OneHRC House Marathon…the 5k…I thought, “Hey Auburnchick, you’re really rocking this running thing. Go out on Sunday after church and knock out your 6k…the second medal.”
If only things were that easy.
First of all, it was 81 degrees when I set out.
I really shouldn’t have ignored my early-morning alarm; it would have been much cooler if I’d gone out before church.
Second of all, I decided to try a new route.
My goal was to do at least four miles, which would ensure that my fitness watch and Charity Miles app would record at close to the distance I was aiming for. They can be off a bit, so I always overachieve and reach for more.
With my new route in my head, I set out.
The first mile wasn’t too bad. It’s almost a half mile until I get out of my neighborhood. That’s easy. The second half mile took me past the kids’ former high school and to a stop sign.
I turned right.
And then…oh golly…the l-o-n-g-e-s-t stretch of road EVER.
Distances can look deceptively short, let me tell you. When you’re diving said distances, they go by quickly.
Not so much at noon on a Sunday with almost-hell-like-temperatures.
It was brutal.
There weren’t any trees.
I had no idea how far this stretch actually was (I had a general idea), so I kept an eye on my watch.
Oh, and did I mention the actual running part?
It wasn’t happening a lot. In fact, I figured that out shortly after leaving my house. I just didn’t seem to be able to run for long spurts.
Those of you who are more experienced runners than me can probably answer this for me: Is this normal?
Earlier in the week, I’d had a conversation with a science teacher at my school. She runs more regularly than I do and has even completed the Disney Princess Half Marathon…an eventual goal for me. She suggested that I use Jeff Galloway’s method of timed interval running. I need to order one of his books because the plan on the website doesn’t make a lot of sense to me.
What did make sense was her explanation. She told me that the point of the walk intervals is to take in more oxygen, which then feeds the muscles and prevents lactic acid buildup. That acid is what causes the pain in the muscles.
A light bulb went on for me.
There’s a reason why everyone says she’s a good teacher.
BUT, I like finishing my runs quicker.
She answered that as well.
When you’re regularly feeding your muscles with oxygen, you actually run FASTER!
Ok, that made sense, but still.
I like DOING THE MOST and saying that I ran the whole way of such-and-such run.
Hello, I am Auburnchick, Overachiever Extraordinaire.
So yesterday, when I found myself hitting a wall repeatedly, because I am stubborn that way, I finally decided to time myself.
I began running one minute intervals…one minute walking followed by one minute of running.
An interesting thing that I noticed was that my heart rate stayed up because there wasn’t a lot of rest time, but my legs did feel better.
That’s pretty much how I did the last mile and a half of my run.
I finished sweaty, educated, and happy that I’d earned that second medal.
I’m still going to aim for longer run segments, but I am going to extend grace and good old science to help me in that process.
Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks!