Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Random Respect


I’m in Nursing School, and I am a runner.  These things have an inverse correlation.  The more time I spend in school, the less I am running.  Of course, the more I’m in school, the more desperate I am for some time on the roads.

Nursing school has forced a change of pace.

When people ask me what kind of runner I am, my response is that I’m a marathoner.  I enjoy the distance.  It’s long, it’s brutal, and apparently I like being miserable for hours on end.

But hours of running at a time do not fit that well with my school schedule.  Toss in some work, a few klingons, and the volunteer hours I put in for my Running Club, and there’s not a whole lot of excess time floating around this semester.

I keep eeking out “30 minutes” here, or “30 minutes” there to run.

So, recently, I was talking to a newbie runner who asked what I training "for".  I explained that I have my sights set on a 10K PR.

In response to that, she said, “Well, it’s only 6.2 miles.  I guess you don’t find that challenging,” with an apologetic shrug and nod toward her shining white Asics.  I cringed. 

And then I threw back, "hey, respect the distance.  Any distance."

I firmly believe that.

Respect the distance... because it never fails...  I get spanked whenever I don't.

And here's the thing that I really wanted to tell that newbie runner but didn't.  Lately I’ve been struggling to finish my 10K training runs in a way that feels solid.  I dragged myself through an 8K with breath wheezing.

So suddenly, I’m this woman who ran 2 marathons in 28 days last year, who can’t even manage to get a solid 6.2 miles laid down on the streets of RVA?  I can’t even do 6+ miles with hills at a solid pace?  How is that even possible?  6 miles?  I used to run that every Tuesday and Thursday….

And then I remember… hey, respect the distance.

10 comments:

MCM Mama said...

Yep, got my ass spanked at an 8k this weekend, so distance of any length must be respected.

Meredith said...

To be honest, the shorter distances scare me a bit. You really have no choice but to go hard the entire time. At least with the marathon, you aren't running hard the whole 26.2. I see the times that are cranked out at 5K and 10K's and am completely amazed!

Dani said...

Great reminder!! I'm feeling that now as i attempt to get back into shape...the pace isn't as easy as it used to be...starting over is staring humility in the face for me. I used to take ALL my single digit runs for granted because they were easy as i was marathon training. Not so much now...those single digit runs are spanking me every.time.

fancy nancy said...

Never fails...whenever I don't respect the distance it bites me!!

christa said...

You are so right! I ran 3 halfs last year, and then I had 2 5k's that kicked my butt, that I would call worst runs ever!

Char said...

Obviously a comment made by a newby. Sure you may have run marathons, but there is something equally challenging about laying it all on the line in a 10k or even a 5k. It's a different kind of pain.

Yo Momma Runs said...

Thought I was just going to thrown down for a virtual 2.9 run for leap year, and it spanked me. Marathon training does trick you sometimes into thinking everything else is easy. Not true!

Shannon said...

I suppose running is like any skill: use it or lose it. I have found that out myself. Also, mentally, any distance can be daunting. I am always amused that I am so ready to be done with run exactly 5/6 of the way through it. (Well, that may not be the exact spot, but anyway somewhere towards the end.) It doesn't matter if I am doing two-miles or 26.2. When I get towards the end, I am done. :) You'll get the mojo back when your schedule lets up a bit. In the meantime, enjoy all the amazing things you are accomplishing OUTSIDE of running.

bobbi said...

word. I am so guilty of FORGETTING to respect the distance...

Marie said...

So true! My leap day run of 2.9 miles really smacked me! It takes someone who has raced many distances to really grasp what it means to respect the distance. Sorry about the frustration of not getting much running in. You'll do great! Sad to miss monument av 10k this year....so much fun! Good luck! Go get that PR!