10 miles (into my soul)

Okay…so the title is a bit dramatic, but it fits. First the 10 miles, then we’ll get to my soul.

Saturday’s run was ideal. Only one blister, no chafing, perfect weather and fantastic music.

I started my run up South Fork Canyon (my favorite place to begin long runs) and it was an absolutely gorgeous morning and it was so early that not many people were out yet. The run started out great and only got better. I love that I am figuring out the things that work for me and the things that don’t. Runner’s World is one of my new favorite sources of tips. I have learned that starting my run at a nice warm up pace helps to ensure that my body will not go into “shock”. I have learned that walk breaks, contrary to what one might think, do not slow my pace at all. In fact, I credit walking for my increased pace this week. And I have learned how to best partake of my energy chews (less chews more frequently…oh, and the strawberry ones are fantastic). Of course, I have had to test all of these things out and what works for me may not work for you, but I thought I’d share just the same.

Other than the recommend changes above, I made a personal change. I noticed that two weeks ago, on my nine mile run, I had a hard time wanting to walk because the fifth songs (my walking songs) were songs that I wanted to run to. The whole point in creating a playlist specifically for that run was so that I would enjoy running to every song. So this week, I changed it up. First of all, I did the math and decided that I wanted to try walking to every sixth song, rather than the fifth one. The second thing I did was to plan out my playlist more carefully, adding in “slow” songs for the walk breaks. This effected two changes: the first was that I knew when I was supposed to walk without having to keep track of song numbers (on the nine miler I lost track a couple of times and didn’t walk as often as I wanted to) and second, there was no sadness as a result of having to walk to a great running song. In addition to that, I made sure that my post-“slow song” songs were my best power songs.

The results were amazing. I enjoyed my run. I felt great. I didn’t have to think about anything. I knew exactly when to walk. I was motivated to start running right after my walk songs. And, best of all, I dropped 30 seconds from my average mile time. I am ecstatic. Not that my goal is speed, but the faster I run, the faster I’m done with that marathon. As excited I am to run it, the prospect of being on the road any longer than necessary just isn’t very appealing. I may be crazy, but I do have some kind of reason.

So, here’s the playlist (and yes, some songs do repeat themselves…because I love them and the slow songs are the peachy ones):

1. Freedom 90 / George Michael 6:30 – warm up
2. Right here, Right now / Fatboy Slim 6:27 – warm up
3. Clothes Off / Gym Class Heroes 3:55 – great to pick it up
4. Under Pressure / Queen & David Bowie 4:03
5. Dance Dance / Fall Out Boy 5:02
6. Fields of Gold / Sting & Edin Karamazov 3:33
7. SexyBack / Justin Timberlake 4:02 – perfect post slow song
8. Problem Girl / Rob Thomas 3:55
9. the doorbell encore / White stripes vs. jay-z vs. queen 4:16
10. Here (In Your Arms) – remix / Hellogoodbye 3:54
11. No Apagues la Luz / Enrique Iglesias 3:49
12. Big girls don’t cry / Fergie 4:28
13. Workout Plan / Kayne West 2:52 – great!
14. Yummy / Gwen Stefani 4:57
15. Porcelain / Moby 3:58
16. Open Your Heart / Madonna 4:13
17. Hot ‘n’ Cold Pussycat / Basement Jaxx vs. The Pussycat Dolls 4:11
18. Remember To Breathe / Dashboard Confessional 3:40
19. Escape / Enrique Iglesias 3:30 – this could have had a little more “go” to it.
20. Makes Me Wonder / Maroon 5 3:31
21. Standing Outside A Broken Phone Booth… / Primitive Radio Gods 5:39
22. Rush (New York City Club Version) / Big Audio Dynamite II 3:55
23. When You Were a Starlight / Team9 vs. The Killers vs. Muse 4:11
24. Slow Dancing In a Burning Room / John Mayer 3:52
25. SexyBack / Justin Timberlake 4:02
26. Simply Being Loved / BT 4:21
27. Clothes Off / Gym Class Heroes 3:55 – great at the end for a final sprint!

So, moving onto “my soul”…and this is the part that gets the disclaimer. This is more for me than it is for you. Feel free to read it, but when you get halfway through it and think, “Holy crap, this girl sure can yap” just remember that I warned you.

This whole “Journey to Saint George“, as I have decided to call it, is turning into much more than just training for a marathon. Or more than what I thought of when I thought about training for a marathon. I am learning more about myself through running than I ever thought possible, well unless we’re talking about years of extensive and painful therapy (and I could probably still use some of that, but I’m not quite ready to go there). I am amazed at how my “issues” play out in training and how I am forced to deal with them.

For instance, while my long Saturday runs have been hard, they have not caused me nearly the agony that my short (being a relative term) weekday runs have. There is absolutely no reason for this, so why is it so? In thinking about this (my long runs provide me with plenty of opportunity for reflection), I realize that my training approach and experiences thus far parallel my life. The little, daily trials tend to be a lot more difficult for me than the big, huge ones. The insight I had this week is that it probably has a lot to do with my preparation and attitude. With running, I have not taken much thought for my short runs. I don’t mentally or physically prepare for them like I do for my long runs. I’m not so concerned with how much sleep I get. In short, I just take them for granted and think, “I can run 10 miles, why worry about three?” I approach life in much the same way.

I don’t think that I have had the hardest life ever, but I have definitely had to deal with some pretty big trials, and some have been very, very challenging, but because I expect that they will be hard, I do everything I can to ease my burden and make them bearable. I become fastidious in my daily “preparation”, which for me is a spiritual and emotional preparation. It’s the everyday trials that end up throwing me over the edge, so to speak, because I lack the same diligence.

Because the short runs are “short”, I have this mentality that they shouldn’t be hard, so when they are, I get very frustrated with myself. The same thing with life. When something that I think should be easy to bear ends up kicking my butt, I get upset because I think, “I should be able to handle this”. If I were to prepare for my short runs (and the small trials) in the same way I prepare for the long ones, I’m sure I would be much more capable of handling them.

The other insight I had this week is that I do not do well running with someone who I perceive to be a “better” runner than me. And, because this is about how my running parallels my life, I’m sure it won’t surprise you when I tell you that I don’t do well at anything when I feel inadequate or “less than”…not because I’m not capable of doing well, but because I just give up.

As a jack of all trades and master of none, I’m not exceptionally good at anything. So, it is not unusual for me to faced by someone who is better, faster, smarter, kinder, etc than I am. Interestingly, these people rarely try to make me feel inadequate. In fact, on the occasion that on of them does, it’s more likely that I will think they are stupid and insecure than that I will feel the emotion they are trying to arouse in me. It’s the people who are humble about their own abilities, that make my life difficult (okay, well, I’m the one that makes my life difficult, but whatever).

The discovery: I got an email from Kim last week. She found my blog from a comment I left on Cindy’s blog. She’s training for the Top of Utah Marathon and she was going to be in the area for about a week and was wondering if I’d like to run with her. My pace is a little slower than hers, but I decided, “what the hell?” It wouldn’t be a big deal on a short run and it would push me a little. Well, push me it did. Full force right into the face of this particular issue. We were just doing five miles. Kim knew that my pace was a bit slower than hers, and she was happy to run a little slower. The thing is, though, we were running at my pace and I was still being a big baby about it. I would rather quit than inconvenience someone or slow someone down or cause someone to adjust their plans or any number of other things.

This is totally my issue. It doesn’t matter how kind or helpful someone is (although, I’m not a huge fan of unsolicited advice…at least not when it’s presented like scripture), I still get stressed out when I don’t feel “good enough”. The thing with this new insight is that I didn’t receive any great revelation about how to resolve it. Maybe it’s just a matter of really getting to a place where I’m at peace with myself and my abilities? I’m not really sure. And if that is the answer, then how do I do that? (If you have advice, go ahead and offer it…I’m soliciting). Perhaps I’ll find an answer on my long run next weekend…when I, once again, will have lots of alone time with nothing to do but think and run.

*It would take too long to embed all of the links to the songs in this post, but if you are interested in any of the songs listed and can’t find them, email me and I will send them to you, provided the version I have is not a protected one. The email option is available from my profile.

7 thoughts on “10 miles (into my soul)

  1. Passing thru via Replikate…this and your most recent post are great….love your tune selection….Under Pressure/PRG’s Standing Outside../Big Girls….what a terrific set !!Throw in another Queen tune…”One Vision” or maybe “Stand Up” by Jet orrrr “Do Ya” from ELO and your set is complete !!Take care

  2. Kim’s just happy to be able to talk to someone, just make sure she can see you or there’s no talking. Did she tell you to buy shoes that are 5 sizes too big for you?

  3. What an awesome post, Chloe! Very inspirational and insightful. The way blogging was meant to be! 🙂 I seriously can’t wait to meet all these bloggers that are training for SGM at the sane time!

  4. I am with you about those walk breaks. I think they help you recover a bit and conserve energy for later, which in distance running seems to be the goal. I was intrigigued by your reflections comparing short & long runs. Good thoughts and great analogy. I struggle with shorter runs sometimes, but usually I’m mentally “set” for the longer ones. You’ve inspired me to make some mental changes–thanks for sharing!

  5. You’re awesome! This post made me feel so great for some reason. Heaven knows I’m not doing any running. You’ve made some major breakthroughs and I think that’s so cool. Seriously, you’re my hero right now! Way to go!

  6. i enjoyed this post and love the look of your new blog. i have not been back in awhile.your profile photo is awesome and the header is great.i can so relate to so much that you talked about in this post!!

  7. I struggle as well with doing something when I know those around me are better at it. It really is dumb when you think about it, at least to me. That’s probably why I gave up on sports… even though I enjoyed basketball, swimming and golf, but I hated being bad and didn’t want to work at it.BTW, I am so impressed that you are training for a marathon.

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