So I have been doing this running thing again for just over a year. I have come a LONG way! One year ago I could not run a quarter of a mile without stopping. Now, I can do a 5K with confidence. One year ago my blood pressure was on the ragged edge of needing to be managed with medication. This summer I have had my blood pressure measured three separate times and my numbers are amazing! 120/68, 112/72 – a far cry from the numbers of the past 15 years!
But, my 5K time is still slow. 40 minutes slow. And the scale continues to hover in the same place it has since I lost the initial 15 lbs. Now I have gone down one size in jeans, but no major weight loss. Actually the slow 5K time is more frustrating to me than the scale not moving. I know that is hard to believe but the scale is no longer my measure of success (and that is a huge victory for me). I want to run faster!
At my last 5K I started the race feeling strong and about a 1/4 mile in my friend Karyl-Lynne passed me. Then I passed her. And this leapfrogging continued the whole way. The difference was that I ran the whole thing and she did a combination of walking and running. In the end, she finished the race before I did – not by much – but still…
Yesterday we did our normal Saturday morning girls run of 5K and I decided to take a step back and not be so worried about running the whole way. It was time to change things up. If I want to run faster, I have to stretch out my stride, get to the point of really breathing hard, and do something different!
I ran the first 1.5 miles at a much quicker pace than I normally do and then I walked the hill as fast as I could. When I got to the straight away I ran again. This time as fast as I felt I could sustain. Then walked that next hill as fast as I could and ran the last bit.
The result? Change. My time was a little faster and I realized that in some cases I can walk as fast if not faster than I can run. And, I still felt like I got a great work out.
In order to get the scale to move, I am going to have to make some changes, too. I can’t rely on the exercise to make the weight come off. I am going to have to drastically reduce sugar intake and really watch portions. And I am going to have to cut myself a little slack from time to time, too.
My motivation this week is going to come from Frank Zappa – “Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible.” What are you going to do differently this week?