It turns out that I actually CAN run a sub 25:00 5K.
(24:48, to be exact)
Yup. Who knew?
Got on the treadmill and ran one this afternoon, in fact.
Honestly, I didn't even want to run today.
(Molding the minds of seven 3 1/2 year olds for four hours wore me slick.)
So, by the time I got into my car to leave for the gym I just sat there for a few minutes, trying to convince myself that I should still go. Since I know that I've never regretted a workout, I was able to pull it together and do the right thing. I wasn't going to have a very long time to run, so I figured pushing the speed would help me get in some more miles. It was the perfect opportunity to try to string together those three (very separate) 8:00 miles I'd done on Monday.
And, right here, I want to stop and thank Jenn at Running Sane for
commenting on Monday that she didn't think a 25:00 minute 5K
was out of the realm of possibility for me.
To have someone who is SO FREAKIN' FAST say that kind of lit a fire under me.
I'm also starting to realize that a lot of getting "better" (i.e. getting faster and being able to run farther) is
being willing to really challenge yourself.
And by "challenging yourself" I mean attempting things that might seem kind of ridiculous to you at first. Because the closer you get to those things, the less ridiculous, and the more realistic they seem. But, you have to be willing to put yourself out there. That's hard for me since I'm not a person who likes to push myself to do things that may be uncomfortable. I am also (*shockingly*) not all that fond of pain!
"I don't think you can become an outstanding runner unless you get a certain amount of enjoyment out of the suffering. You have to enjoy absorbing it, controlling it and—ultimately—overcoming it."—Derek Clayton in The Masters of the Marathon
I read that quote about a month ago and thought to myself that being an "outstanding" runner just might not be for me! But, I think there can be a healthy mid-point between not pushing your limits at all and "enjoyment of suffering". I don't know that I'll ever really enjoy the suffering, but I hope that I'm able to keep pushing myself beyond where I'm comfortable. Because, really, that's the only way to get better.