Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Are Runners Ever Satisfied?

We did an 8 mile run on Sunday and have been doing our best to ward off the sniffles and rest the legs since then.  I even had The Captain try out my Recovery socks and he quite liked them.  I am making sure we are both getting lots of sleep and limiting yard work and work at the apartment and on the boat, for the next 2 weeks, till our half marathon is run and done!

This morning I was anxious and ready to head out for a run.

We planned an easy 5 km around the neighborhood and the route I chose starts out with a nice long downhill stretch.  I was really moving and I could tell that The Captain was pleased with the faster-than-usual pace. 

We completed the first 'section' in 9 minutes, when it normally takes 10... and I kept up the pace through the first 3 kms.  I actually felt sick to my stomach!  I was pretty thankful for the walk breaks after every 10 minutes of running today.

And then I slowed down a bit during the 4th km and then a lot during that last km, which is up a hill almost as steep as that hill ... but I was cruising... and then, from out of nowhere, this lovely little older woman was on the street and moving toward me, obviously trying to make eye contact with me and get my attention.

Would I be horrible if I confess for the tiniest of split seconds I thought of running right past her?

But, of course I didn't.  I stopped and smiled at her,  and she wanted to know the way to the closest grocery store in the area...  I quickly gave her precise directions, and off we went again.

We completed the 5 km in the same time as my current 5 km PR in this neighborhood, just under 35 minutes.   Last year at this time I would have been thrilled with this time, but today I was a bit disappointed. 

W2 R35 @10/1 W4
stretch 15 minutes

We came in and drank lots of water, changed into dry clothes and then I made some smoothies for us to drink while we stretched.

GNC Beyond Raw RE-BUILT MASS chocolate brownie  protein powder with frozen berries, half a banana, and chia seeds for The Captain....

And NeoCell Collagen Sport French Vanilla protein powder with frozen berries, half a banana and ground flax seeds for me. 

I wonder if I am ever going to be satisfied with my speed.  Is there ever an end to the struggle to get faster? 

Are you in the same boat?


  1. ELLE. I gotta get to the post topic...but first thing I noticed was the "10" over on your countdown. I seriously wish I could come to the race and cheer my head off for you...I will still be doing that...just from here in Utah :) but know that I will be LOUD and there in spirit and anxiously awaiting to hear how it goes :)

    This post spoke to me. Its a constant struggle. Even when I say I am going to take a step back and just run a comfortable pace without pressure...I find myself getting caught up in my speed toward the end of a run. I don't know...I don't really have more of a response than that. I think right now I feel like I am in a good balance...a place where I have not been maybe ever. I have found kind of a "happy pace" that just feels natural and right. I really want to get to know that place well so that I can be more smart on my runs...meaning so that I know what an easy pace should be and what a harder pace should feel like. Im kind of in learning mode right now. I hope it sticks around for a bit because I think it will pay off when I get the itch to really get faster again...I know that itch will return but when it does I hope it doesnt bog me down with pressure like it has in the past.

    I think its okay to not be satisfied sometimes keeps that drive alive...lets you know that you expect more from yourself, that you are growing and that you are capable of more! sometimes it just takes pushing through that once to reach a new level of "comfortable"! It sounds like you are right on the cusp of reaching a new comfortable pace...and rightly have worked hard, trained smart and are so much stronger from where you started!

  2. I am in the same boat for sure. I try to get faster but I feel like I can only shave off a few seconds here or there. And even then that fluctuates. It's frustrating!

  3. I don't think runners are ever satisfied. When I pr'd on Sunday, the first thought I had was getting under 1:50 next time. Lame I know. We need to just savor the moment! Don't people know not to ask runners questions when they are running? You were very sweet to stop and answer her question:)

  4. Haha so true, it seems like no matter how fast I run I always think "I bet I could have done that a little faster"

  5. Elle - you are not alone at all. I think it's just natural to want to see improvements/speedier/longer runs. It's a hard balance for sure. I think with all of the half marathon training you've been doing - some of your "regular" runs may be slower than you'd like. Perhaps after the half training and your body recovers, you'll see some increased speed? I saw that after my half marathon and marathon training for sure. :)

  6. I think we are never satisfied. But not in a bad way. In a goal oriented way. Once you reach one goal, you strive for another. To me, they are attainable goals, which is not necessarily true in other aspects of life. So I like that I can at least reach my goals in one part of my life. But to attain them, you have to keep setting new ones!

  7. I don't think it is just runners that seem to never be satisfied, it is a common feeling for those who are driven and ambitious - I see it more as an incredible strength, rather than a problem. It means you will always be striving for better, and never settling - sometimes that can come across as frustration, but it is more how you react to that feeling of not being satisfied. Even with stopping, you were able to match your PR - which means in reality your run was faster, and your speed HAS increased over the past months,and your confidence and knowledge of the runs has grown. That is proof that you are taking those feelings of not feeling satisfied, and turning them into positive results and passion for always improving.

    I hope that made sense, but I just want you to know that it is normal and you are doing so well! I am so excited for you and the captains big race!

  8. It is so hard to accept the phase of running we are in and I still have days I feel my speed going up that hill yesterday. But in all reality, you are doing great and should be so proud of yourself and The Captain. I can't say you will ever say this is the perfect speed and I am content forever. I kinda hope none of us get to the point of being content because I feel then we will stop pushing the limits to see how fast or how far we can go.

  9. I am absolutely with you - but I think there's a careful line here: unsatisfied vs. critical. I used to be very critical of my own speed and that kind of negative thinking really broke me. Now, I refuse to be satisfied with a speed or a distance when I *know* I can go further or faster, but I never criticize myself. So I agree with Kyria - always have new goals!


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