10K Training

I’m training for my second 10K. It’s in less than three weeks. I ran my first 10K last year and said I’d never do one again. One and done. But of course I always said I’d never be a runner either. (Not that I am.) I seem to live in the land of never say nevers.

I wasn’t going to run the 10K this year but all of my running friends talked me into it. “C’mon, it’ll be fun.” “You have to run the Great Race.” Turns out I’m a sucker for peer pressure.

And now? It seems at least half of my friends have dropped out due to injuries. And the ones that are running rarely show up for the Sunday group runs. Kids’ sports schedules. College tours. Life. (Assholes!)

We get running  homework every week from our coach. Last year we had to train five days a week and I never skipped a run. I had to give up so much. I never had time to write. This was part of the reason I wasn’t going to run again. I can’t write in the mornings or go to boot camp – the things I actually enjoy doing at 5AM. But last year I would go to the gym and run on the treadmill (ugh) next to my friends and we’d moan and groan about how terrible running is and how much it sucks and there was a comfort to that. And as much as I hated running, (and I did – still do) it felt good to be doing something hard, something I never thought I could do.

This year I haven’t been running on the treadmill. I’ve been trying to write at 5:00 and then run at 6:30 when it’s light outside. It kind of works, but only kind of. And now that the clocks have moved forward it will still be dark at 6:30. I might have to hit the treadmill again. Ugh.

Our coach has scaled back the training this season to four days a week, but I’ve only been running two or three. I’m trying to find some sort of magic formula between the writing and the running and the boot camp classes, but it’s hard. I haven’t figured it out yet. Last year running was keeping me skinny, but this year the pounds are slowly starting to creep back on. Yesterday I ran six miles and today when I got on the scale I’d gained half a pound. Six miles! WTF!

At least I know I can still run six miles (6.2 actually). It’s the first time I’ve done it since the race last year. I had to walk some of it, but not much. I ran the 6.2 in 1:09:34 – an 11:14 mile. Not great – a little slower than my 1:06:58 10K time last year, but like I said, I’ve really scaled back on my training. My goal is just to finish, not to finish fast.

In less than three weeks I’m going to run this stupid race. My stupid friends who talked me into it had better be at the finish line cheering me on. And then except for Sunday runs on flat terrain where people actually show up and there is coffee and gossip afterwards I am done with running. I will never ever ever run another 10K again. (Says the girl from the land of never say nevers.)

Running Sucks Series: This Time She Shall Be Named

The last time I wrote about her I was kind and did not name her. We ran together on a trail run and I stuck with her even though she was slow. On the streets she’s fast, but trails scare her and she begged me to stay by her side. So of course I did. I’m a good friend like that. (Such a good friend I ended up getting us lost.)

She’s the one that suckered talked me into running in the first place after our Just Lose It program ended. She claimed that she hates running too, but I don’t believe her. I think she’s a liar.

And after the terrible awful thing she did to me yesterday? She’s a liar who will be named.

Juliana.

Yesterday there were only three of us who were able to meet up for our Sunday run and Jennifer was walking because of an injury. We were doing a four mile run around the lake. Juliana said she really didn’t feel like running and would run with me at my pace. Yes, even though we started running at the same time she’s much faster than I am.

If I were the type that makes excuses, I’d say it’s because she weighs about 30 pounds less than I do. (Hey, she’s like four or five inches shorter so shut up!) It’s probably easier for her to run faster – you know, less girth to carry around.

I said she didn’t have to slow herself down to stay with me, but she said she wanted to because she was really tired and really didn’t want to run and had to force herself to come.

She did slow her pace down, but not to my pace, so I had to run faster to keep up. Remember what I said about her being a liar?

I’ve backed off on my running since my race because it takes up so much time. I was running five days a week and now I’m running three. So this run was really killing me. As we got to the light to make the turn back to the coffee house that was 3/4 of a mile away I kept chanting to myself,”Less than eight minutes left, less than eight minutes left.” I was dying, but I could run for eight more minutes.

Maybe.

And then she turned to me, and said, “Let’s go straight and do the five mile loop. We can even walk if you want.”

What?! NO!

I had less than eight minutes left and now she wanted me to run for something closer to eighteen. She told me she didn’t even feel like running. She told me she had to force herself to come and now we were almost done. Juliana is a big fat lying liar who lies! She kept going straight, turned her head and told me she loved me. I told her I hated her. And at that moment I meant it. But I followed her anyway.

And then I was pissed. Like, stomp your feet like a toddler throwing a temper tantrum pissed. I did not want to run an extra mile. I ran for about two minutes this way – hating Juliana and being grumpy and mad and miserable. And then I gasped for air took a deep breath and told myself to calm down. I’ve run five miles before. Hell, I’ve run six. I could do this. I turned up my music, stopped hating Juliana (mostly), and ran.

Juliana started to run faster and then would slow down to a walk until I caught up. I’d take two walking steps and then she’d run ahead again. You know that trick you play on people when they’re getting in your car and as soon as they touch the handle you pull forward a little? She was doing the running equivalent of that. (And I stopped hating her why?)

During that last push I focused on Adam Levine singing that he wanted to make sweet, sweet love to me (he might have used another word) and then I focused on Enrique Iglesias singing that he’d like to make sweet, sweet love to me as well (he definitely used another word). I wonder if Bradley Cooper can sing. If he was singing about all the dirty ways he could make sweet, sweet love to me I think I could run all day.

Or at least for five miles.

I’d like to say that I’m still mad at Juliana for tricking me into that extra mile. For pushing me harder than I wanted to go.

But if I said that, then I might (or might not) be the one who’s a liar.