Monday, March 7, 2011

Learning to Enjoy Running

For those of you that read my blog on a regular basis (I'm 100% confident that no one falls under this category, not even my mom), you know that up until a couple of years ago, my running experience was limited to short trips around the bases.  After switching to triathlon, my cycling took off almost immediately.  I guess my huge legs from 20 years of catching translated nicely to the bike.  My swim is following along nicely, I think that is just from growing up on the beach in Florida.  But running? Man, I hate running. 

Running, to me, has always been a punishment.  Late to practice, go run laps (I wasn't usually late).  Cutting up in practice, go run laps (this usually wasn't me either.  Practice is serious).  Getting in trouble in class and back-talking teachers, go run laps (yeah... probably where most of my laps came from).  Running was never something that we did for fun.  It was always because we had to.  Always torture.  Miserable. 

My brothers loved running, I thought it was the devil.

I know that running is my biggest weakness in triathlon.  In agusta I finished in the top 11% in the swim, the top 9% on the bike and the top 46% on the run! And not because I blew up on the bike... I held back on the bike to have a better run!

So I have been working hard to improve my run.  I set out yesterday to break my 5k PR in the Joe Cain run here in Mobile.  Conditions were ugly.  It was cold, wet and stupid windy.  But still, my goal was a sub 21 minute 5k.  I set out feeling strong and actually felt strong the whole way, but the wind was terrible.  With the head wind that we had on the second half of the race, I just couldn't hold the pace that I needed.  I ended up finishing at 21:54.  44 seconds short of my 21:10 PR and 55 seconds short of my goal, I managed to land in 5th in my age group. 

But, I enjoyed the run!

I actually had fun running.  One of the very few times in my life I have enjoyed running.  So later that day Anna and I went for a long run.  I ran another 10.2 miles, and instead of feeling like I was dying the entire way, I actually enjoyed it again! Who knows, their may be hope for my run after all.

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