Thursday, September 15, 2011

Pace is not a goal

I want to start this off by saying that I love my children.  All the moms out there probably know what is coming next.  In case you are not a mom, I will explain.  When a mom starts off with "I love my children," the next thing to come out of her mouth will be a complaint about motherhood.  Kind of like when someone says, "No offensive," the next thing to come out of their mouth will be horribly offensive.  (If you are from the south you can substitute "no offense" with "bless your heart.")  It is like the former statement offsets anything negative said in the latter statement.  Like, "No offensive, but your face makes me want to throw up."  And, "I love my kids, but if they don't shut up I'm going to sell them on Craigslist."  "No offensive" and "I love my kids" made those totally acceptable statements, right?
Apparently, this is actually where you take your kids if you need to sell them.
Okay, back to loving my kids.  I love them BUT having kids makes training for endurance activities a little tricky.  My children are 2 and 4.  They can't be left alone at home and they can not come with me on a long run.  I do plenty of shorter runs at the gym (with daycare), but 10 miles on a treadmill?  Shoot me now.  So every week I need to find a day when my husband is around at what I deem as an acceptable running time (morning).  Until recently, the only day that worked was Sunday, but thankfully preschool has started and I have two more days to choose from.  Hooray!

My last long run was a disaster.  I was slow, I bonked, and worst of all....I wasn't enjoying running.  I read something in an article that helped me out.  It said that pace was not a goal it was an outcome.  I have been putting so much pressure on myself to hit the 9min/mile pace during my long runs.  I realized I needed to let that go.  I need to run at my current level and just be happy with the outcome.  I want to run a sub 2 hour half marathon, but like I tell my kids (who I love by the way), sometimes you don't get what you want.

With a new mindset I went on my long run.  I knew it would be a little more challenging than usual because it was a route with hills.  This was good for three reasons: 1) running hills makes you a better runner 2) it was a tougher run so I wasn't so concerned with my time and 3) hills work your butt and frankly I don't want to hear, "no offensive, but your have a big butt....bless your heart."

Yup, ran up to the top and back.
  I vowed not to look at my Garmin and I pretty much stuck to it.  I ended up running 9.7 miles at a 9:16 min/mile pace.  That is actually the best pace I've averaged for a long run.  Was it the great weather, the new mindset, the training?  Who knows, but I do know that I enjoyed that run.  I have so much to stress about, why oh why was I stressing over the thing that was suppose to be de-stressing me?  I took the pressure off, had a great time, and ran better than I have in a long time.

Do I still want to run the half in under 2 hours?  Yes!  But I actually want to enjoy running even more.  So I will work hard, try my best, but my pace will be the outcome, not the goal.


  1. I vote that the new mindset is what fueled you best! Great job in having the clarity to "slow" things down, in order to speed things up :)

  2. Not gonna lie, for my yet to be born kids, I have wondered how I would train with a new family

    I need to figure out consistant pacing myself