Thursday, April 24, 2014

Exercise Diary: Why do I even bother?

After a two-day hiatus, I chose to go out and run over yoga.  It's a really nice day out, and even though the forecast had predicted strong wind (the wind was pretty strong), it was really nice and cool for running.  I went by the pond again, which meant that I changed and brought my gym clothes to the lab.

The run was pretty bad.  I think I ran for 10 minutes before stopping.  The road was uneven as usual and plenty of people passed me along the way.  I walked way too much.  And although I didn't get shin splints (the new insoles really helped), my left calf was cramped for most of the run.  I stopped to stretch twice, which was absolutely embarrassing because I only did two laps around the pond total.  My Nike+ thing said I did 2.9 miles, and I only semi-trust it, although it did calculate my walking distance to and from the lab, and I took a little detour on my second lap to go up a hill, thinking it would lead to a trail by the river, only to find the end of someone's driveway and a big sign that says "Keep Out".

The whole ordeal took 45 minutes, and I didn't even cover a standard 5K.  I got tired so easily, and my legs are pathetic.  I'm not going to be ready for the 5K next weekend (although I planned, during my run, to run this weekend part of the 5K course that we are going to run next weekend as practice), it's going to take forever for me to complete the race, and I was going to thoroughly embarrass myself.  Two people I know saw me in my running gear (although I was done by that point so they didn't see me walking pathetically around the pond) and now they know that I own an ugly orange cap and I run.  I guess now I'm normal.

For the past two days when I was cooped up inside or was unable to go to the gym I thought about nothing but running.  I read other people's running blogs, I looked up races and past results, I made mental calculations on how fast I needed to run to finish a certain distance within a certain time.  I dreamt about running, I couldn't wait to change and get to the pond.

But when I'm running I feel like hell.  Tiredness and out-of-breath aside, my legs hurt, my feet hurt, my body feels heavy and useless, I don't think my form is right (judging by my shadow), I had to stop often, and generally I feel like a loser and failure.  I guess I felt somewhat accomplished and therefore satisfied knowing that I almost covered 3 miles today, which was more than Monday's run, I was more panicked about the terrible time, and how unready I am, and how I don't want to run with people.

I did realize, however, that I tend to run faster than I can handle right at the beginning, and quickly go out of breath and had to slow down.  And looking back at my running graph I was running way faster than I would normally do on the treadmill right at the beginning.  I really don't know why I do that, but I always do.  But now I learned to slow down when I feel really out of breath and jog slow, as opposed to stop and walk, and I could cover more distance that way before walking.  My old impatience self was also back.  I would stop running before I'm completely out of breath or before my legs were seriously protesting, just because I didn't feel the point to keep running anymore.  I need new, temporary goals now to keep running, to not stop.  I hope I'll think of something by my next run.

So all in all I'm not satisfied with my run.  But I still have some time to practice, and when race day comes I'll just have to tell myself that it doesn't really matter what other people think.  My cramps can't really be helped except with more practice, and I'll just have to accept that as well.

On the positive side, I have the illusion that my calves look slightly smaller and tighter than they were before.  I don't know if it's real, I certainly have not lost any significant weight, but I'd like to think that running for all these weeks have helped shaping my legs somewhat.

Hungry now, need to go and eat.  Tomorrow is another day~

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