Monday, June 8, 2009

Big Girl Panties - Learning to Suck It Up

Today I learned what "putting on my big girl panties" and gettin' it done is all about.

Let me back up just a little... At the beginning of the year, one of my New Year's Resolution was to break 2 1/2 hours in a half marathon by the end of the 2009. That would mean a 24 minute improvement over 2008's White Rock Half. I've since taken 12 minutes off my time, so I'm halfway there. My PR as of Big D in April is now 2:42, so a 12:30 pace.

My training to break 2 1/2 hours (an 11:30 pace) this fall formally began yesterday. I met up with friend Paula in the morning and did 5 miles, 4.5 miles at 11:30 pace and a half mile walk in the middle. It brought the average pace to 12:00. It was hard to keep the even pace, especially the last mile. But I was happy when I was finished.

Tonight I really learned to "put on my big girl panties" and make it happen. It's a favorite phrase of my good friend and fellow Heels and Hills co-race director Paula Robertson, usually said with her Mississippi drawl. She's also coaching me towards this goal. And I'm in good hands. Paula used to help with the women's training clinic with Dallas Running Club "back in the day" when it was Cross Country Club of Dallas (CCCD), spent a couple years as the Dallas Galloway Training Program Director and led a training program the first two years of Heels and Hills for participants. I needed help because I recognize that on my own, training myself, I'll push too hard and get injured or not enough and not meet the goal - it's just a reality that I kinda turn stupid when it comes to my own running. :-)

I thought I had already toughened up and moved from training pants into big kid underoos this spring. I had accomplished the following:

  • Shaved a little over 3 minutes off my 5K PR, throwing up at the finish line
  • Ran the Austin Half Marathon with stomach problems the whole way and PRed
  • Enjoyed the company of 12 lovely ladies for about 40 hours on almost no sleep as we completed a 200 mile relay race
  • Dealt with nasty weather conditions and feelings of dehydration during the Oklahoma City Half Marathon
  • Completed 5 half marathons between Feb. 14 and May 17

So I thought I'd had some toughening-up experiences already this year. Nope. Tonight I learned the difference between running and training.

This new training schedule had two time goals for today's run. The paces I would have to run looked so absurd, I never run that fast. I made several plans of how to amend that night's run if I was as unprepared as I feared I was. Amazingly, to me, I met both of the time goals!

Goal 1 - first mile between 9:52 and 10:13. Ran 10:06.
Goal 2 - second mile between 10:42 and 11:05. Ran 10:59.

So I met the plan in the training schedule for the night but learned a lot more about sucking it up in the meantime. I thought I was going to die this evening but managed to run way faster than I ever thought I could. The 10:06 mile was a new PR!

I hope I can keep this up, because man, I would love to hit this half marathon time goal! 18 more weeks...

Happy Running, and thanks for letting me vent!

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