Torture Report: Faith in the Process & the Treadmill


On the climb

(G): After last week’s rough end I have rallied.
Rallied might be a strong word. I got a little overzealous there for a minute. How about, “I am back on track?”

I started the week ready to get to it and hopefully locate my energy and focus. I decided that to regain momentum I needed to have renewed resolve and commitment to my goal. Otherwise, once you miss one workout it’s easy to miss another and then another. Momentum swings in both directions much like Newton’s Law of Inertia. Objects in motion tend to stay in motion and similarly so, objects at rest… well, you know.

All week I stayed on target and by Friday I was relieved it was a recovery run. That meant easy running for an hour and done! When did that become a gift?

I have done a lot of training in my life but two things I’ve never done until this year are run 6 days a week and train at this level of intensity.
It’s tough and I have questioned it a lot. After you train a certain way for a while it’s tested and true and then it’s hard to change. I felt nervous and jittery at the start of the year because while my miles were difficult and I was at a high level of exertion I wasn’t running all that long or far. My longest runs were 2 hours when normally by late January I am moving toward three or four.

Swaggy took a spill in the mud but kept on running
Trying not to fall in all the muck.

Running far and running long were my two constant companions in every other training program. Early this year I traded far and long for extreme and audacious. I was testing myself in every workout, really questioning if I would be able to get through it. And not always sure I wanted to.

I have never been fast and I haven’t always been able to see an event through to the end but in the last few year I have built myself to endure, to last, to hang in there even if it was down to a walk. Part of that has come from putting in the miles. It’s not flashy but it is effective. When I first started doing back to back long training days on the weekend about 5 years ago it was a struggle. I was pushing my limits in ways I hadn’t before. I was asking more of myself than I had ever previously. But then I got comfortable with that level of training and while I had adjusted and dabbled I’d never thrown the entire plan out the window and started again until now.

Still Climbing. Are we almost done?

But just like two hard runs on Saturday and Sunday felt like a stride of faith in 2012 this new approach, thanks to Jason Koop and his book, has been the same thing — faith.
And slowly, after nearly 3 months I am seeing hints that my trust in something new and myself could pay off.

The payoff isn’t probably what you think. I am not going to win a race this year. I have never even considered that. It’s not even something that’s ever been a motivator. The reward is to go further, faster, longer than I ever dared to hope I could and still be in one piece; still be standing on my own power; and having pushed past what previously was my limit.

It feels scary. It feels like a risk. But I am excited to see what the finish lines hold for me this year — whether it be miraculous or hellish. My guess is it’ll be a little of both.

(L)  As I have been hinting in the torture report lately the last few weeks have been a little more difficult in the motivation department.  This last week went better as I changed things up a little by adding a fat-blasting running workout on the treadmill.  It’s a 30-minute little diddy that has been taped to our treadmill for probably 2 years.  I do it periodically, but this week I decided I needed a very specific routine to kickstart my metabolism and my motivation.

My thought was that I could do anything for 30 minutes, right?  Everything began okay.  I could easily handle 3.5 mph in my sleep.  In fact, in my dreams I run 8mph and I don’t even break a sweat.  I look like a gazelle running through the trees and… Where was I?  Oh, yes, I was sleep walking at 3mph and then somewhere around minute 15 things started getting serious.  Did you notice that?  I said MINUTE 15, not mile 15.  It even feels ridiculous to me.  Just a few months ago I ran 30 something miles and now I am counting my running in minutes.

So, there I was slowly increasing my speed and my incline as my eyes scanned the rest of the workout.  There it was. Minute 22 was looming and I was dreading it the closer I got.

I’d like to say that once minute 22 and the dreaded 7mph hit, it wasn’t nearly as difficult as I thought it might be.   Unfortunately, it was just as hard as I thought it might be.  It was only 60 seconds and then I could lower the speed to a mere 6 mph.  That is not a recovery speed.  That is still running.  All I wanted to know at this point was when the sleep walking speed would kick back in.  I had to wait 4 more minutes to find that sweet spot on the treadmill and by then I wanted to crawl.

I did complete the 30 minutes 4 times this past week.  Some days I wanted to quit half way through and others I finished, but still wanted to die.  This week I am hoping to see some improvement in my workouts in the form of breathing easier, increased motivation and not dreading the 7 mph.

Hey, a girl can dream.

Sunshine & Sarcasm,

Lowi & G

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