picking up where we left off

Monday marked the beginning of my Donna 5K training.

It was chilly and windy, but I had to try out my new Mizuno Wave Inspire 10s, so I bundled up and headed out.

I was a little nervous. I’ve been extremely happy with my Wave Inspire 9s, and the thought of changing to a new model was ย scary. There aren’t that many differences (color, obviously, lack of stitching on the toe, a change in the support in the bottom) but when you have something that works, it’s hard taking that leap of faith.

Honestly, the jury is still out on these. I didn’t have any issues on Monday, but one day isn’t enough to call a verdict, so we shall see how it goes from here on out.

When I hit the start button on my Garmin, I wasn’t entirely sure how I was going to play it. Was I going to increase my intervals? Try to just bust out 3.1 miles of running? Take it nice and easy and see where I was at?

Since I hadn’t been running in just over a week, I ended up with the nice and easy. I decided that it would give me a good idea of a starting place, from which I could build.

Friends. Let’s be honest. There is a lot of work to be done.

I want to get about four-five minutes off my time in the next few weeks. I’m not entirely sure if it’s a realistic goal, but I am dedicating myself to weekly speed work and strength training on the off days.

My biggest challenge comes in the shape of Miles 2 and 3. For the first mile, I am pretty good. I find my stride, find my groove. And then after that? It all falls apart. I FEEL like I’m doing the same thing, but the numbers are showing a decline in speed. The ultimate goal is negative splits, so I have to readjust what I’m doing out there to start slower and speed up from there.

It’s frustrating. Common sense says “just run faster.” But my body doesn’t necessarily agree. I hate that this doesn’t come easily or naturally to me, but maybe that’s the secret. Maybe the reason I enjoy running and racing so much is that I do find myself challenged and having to force myself to do things my legs and lungs just don’t want to do.

On a positive note, I am still finding a lot of beauty in my runs. Just getting to look up at the blue sky and go where the power lines reminds me that it’s all worth it.

I have nowhere to go but up. ย The changes aren’t going to happen overnight, so I just need to keep that in mind, even when I’m feeling discouraged and down.

What is one thing about your running that you want to improve?

Do you consider yourself a “natural-born runner” or is it something at which you have to work?

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19 Responses to picking up where we left off

  1. I’ve never been a natural runner. I absolutely hated it, and then I decided walking wasn’t enough for me. So I tried running again. And now, almost ten years later, I’m still running. But it’s still work…but it’s still fun!

  2. Darlene says:

    Definitely not a natural runner. It is HARD. I want to be faster. But not sure it will happen. Love the color of the new mizunos.
    Darlene recently posted…Me and the TreadmillMy Profile

  3. 4-5 minutes off a 5k time is serious. Good work if you can try it.

    And kudos on having that first mile be good — no matter the distance, that’s always a poor mile for me (just, mentally, it takes me awhile to say “yeah, I actually want to be running.”) Typically, I’m consistent from miles 2-6, and then back off from 7-10, and then I really struggle (no good, considering I have a full marathon in a few months). If you’re really loving that first mile, I don’t think you should be changing that at all — I’d say ease up at mile 2, go even slower for a few minutes, then FAST for 30 seconds, and then back to a slower recovery time, and then FAST for 30 seconds. Those bursts will help improve your overall pace.
    John (Daddy Runs a Lot) recently posted…Where I accept High Heels & Training Wheel’s ChallengeMy Profile

    • runswithpugs says:

      It is a tall order. And I don’t know how it’s going to go. But faster is closer to the goal, even if it’s only two minutes faster.

      I typically hate the first three miles altogether. I do great from about 4-8 or 9 and then the wheels fall off the bus again.

      I started real speed work today. I hope it makes a difference.

  4. Matilda says:

    I want to improve my nutrition on my long runs, which is one of my goals the next 30 days while I do whole30 (again).
    I think it takes at least 3 runs, or around 20-30km to really determine what your running shoes are like. They do look super clean though.
    Matilda recently posted…Whole30 Pantry Clean out & Why your crisper is not working for youMy Profile

    • runswithpugs says:

      That’s a great goal! Good luck!

      Our running store has a 30 day return policy, so I have plenty of time to decide. I think I like them (although, yes, they are very white), but I’ll give it some more time. ๐Ÿ™‚
      runswithpugs recently posted…fartleksMy Profile

  5. I need to work on the second mile of my runs. For some reason that is always the SLOWEST mile and then my next miles afterwards are typically faster. I also need to work on sticking with the speed work…. I have let that go to the wayside since I’ve been sick/just have been slacking on it.
    Rachel @ Undercover Diva: A Sitcom recently posted…Birthday Wishes and GasparillaMy Profile

  6. That is one of my favorite things about Mizuno’s, that they don’t change the models too much when they upgrade them! Other shoe brands change things too much just as I get to like something, and go to get another pair there is a new model that is changed too much!
    Have lots of fun running in the new kicks!!
    Kristy @Runaway Bridal Planner recently posted…Book Review FOREVER by Maggie StiefvaterMy Profile

    • runswithpugs says:

      They seem to be pretty similar. I can feel a few subtle things, but nothing that’s causing me serious problems. If I love them, I’m debating buying a bunch of pairs, just so I’m stocked up ๐Ÿ™‚
      runswithpugs recently posted…fartleksMy Profile

  7. Not natural born at all, I struggle, and push, and fight for this. Sometimes I wish it was a bit easier or that I was a bit faster.
    Abby @ BackAtSquareZero recently posted…Taking the Mizuno LeapMy Profile

  8. This was me the last 2 weekends. I told my legs to run faster, heck cardiovascular wise I felt fine. My legs though have not been getting the message. All we can do is keep on keeping on!

    Good luck, I’m sure you’ll be back at it soon!
    Anne @ CandyCrazedrun.wordpress.com recently posted…Taking the Easy Way OutMy Profile

  9. Kyle says:

    I’m going through the exact same thing right now. One of my goals this year is to extend my running intervals to where I can run the complete 5K without a walk break. It’s tough but I think it will be worth it. Just try not to get too frustrated and keep chipping away!
    Kyle recently posted…Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend -Trip Report-Day 4My Profile

  10. Diana says:

    Whatever the opposite of runner is, that’s what I’m a natural-born. Sleeper. Slacker. For sure not a runner. It’s work, every time. But I love it, so…….. *shrug*
    Diana recently posted…Just…. Dance?My Profile

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