Thursday, July 22, 2010

Roller Coaster

Running feels like a roller coaster. Sometimes I feel like I'm improving, sometimes on a plateau, and sometimes regressing.

For the past month or so, I've feel like I was on a plateau, maybe even regressing. My pace hasn't been improving, and my long runs seem just as difficult, if not more difficult, than they were a few months ago.

I ran my first 10k a couple of weeks ago. I was happy to finish my first 10k. But, I was disappointed with my time because I know I've run that distance faster. For example, I logged a 6 mile run at 11:54min/mi a full 5 weeks before the race - but on race day, I only managed a 12:02 pace, and felt like I was going to collapse at the finish line.

I've looked at my training, my diet, everything trying to figure out why I've been stuck in neutral. I don't know the answer...maybe it's the heat and humidity that have been slowing me down.

But - then there was tonight's awesome run.

For the first time in a while, I feel like I put a new stake in the ground. I saw improvement. And it felt great. I ran a zone 3 aerobic run with a sub-10min pace. I don't know that I've ever done that before. My overall pace was about 9:46. To put that in context, my race pace for my first 5k race back in March was about 9:58...and believe me, I gave it all I had that day!

It's runs like tonight that really make running addicting. Seeing that bit of improvement. Maybe I'm getting better, maybe I'm adapting to the heat, maybe both. Either way, it feels good to see some signs of improvement.

Do you ever feel like you've hit a plateau? How do you deal with it?

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