Tuesday, September 1, 2009

44 seconds

So my recent visits with friends who have successfully lost tons of weight definitely dinged my self esteem. Not one of my friends noticed that I had lost weight because they were focused on planning their weddings and having babies. And realistically, my body hasn't changed that much even though I've dropped 15 pounds. A size 14 is generally still too tight and a size 16 is too big so my clothes still don't fit me quit as well as they should.

My husband and some of my co-workers notice because they see me every day but that's not enough. I guess I was expecting people to be like "Omigosh you look so good, have you lost weight?!?". But there was no mention of my weight or any questions about how well my diet is going even though some of them knew I started Nutrisystem back in May. I think that hurt my feelings more than anything else. Even if no one noticed a difference they could have asked me how things were going. That's what I would have done. I went out of my way to tell them how good they looked (and truly they all look great) and to compliment them on sticking to their programs. I just wish they were being as supportive a friend to me as I feel like I have always been to them. And yes, I'm jealous that they were successful and I wasn't.

So imagine my surprise when I ran a 5K this weekend in 34:19. That's 11:04 pace. That's 44 seconds faster per mile than my pace at the 5K that I did in June. At first I thought maybe the June race was an off day but that wasn't the case. Looking back at my previous race times, I haven't run at that pace in more than 3 years. Three years ago I was probably around 185-190 lbs (5-10 lbs lighter than I am now) so that made me feel really awesome.

I started running road races in 1992 and have kept a record of my finishing times for most of the races that I have run over the years. Initially I would randomly sign up for local races but once I graduated from college in 1998 I started running in road races more frequently and eventually started the trend of running one race a month. I miss a month here and there but I definitely run 8-12 races consistently every year. My goal when I started signing up for these races was to become a serious runner. It thought I would be forced to stay in shape and keep running between races. Sometimes that's what happened but, more often than not, I would show up for these races not having run much since the last race and huff and puff my way to the finish line. I have had bursts of motivation before big races where I ran 3-4 times a week consistently over a month or two but this usually fizzled out after the race.

So what is different this time? For one thing, my husband is running these races with me and we keep each other motivated. I have gotten used to being a solo runner over the years. Signing up for most races by myself and then heading straight home after ward. It's nice to have someone there with me rooting for me and commiserating with me. We have also befriended a uber-fit couple who run marathons. They sign up for a lot of the same races that we sign up for and occasionally want to meet up to run together. Not wanting to hold them back or embarrass ourselves every time we see them is keeping both my husband and I going on days when we might want to be be lazy.

I think the most important thing that has changed is that we are setting mini goals and milestones for ourselves. Either running a certain pace or a certain number of miles per week by a certain date. So we are always striving to get better and achieve that next goal. I am becoming a serious runner in a very healthy way and my body is responding to that. I am getting stronger and faster even if it doesn't show that much in my appearance.

In a perfect world, I will get down the to 9:40 per mile pace that I ran my very first road race in back in 1992 but that is more of a long term goal. Right now I am focusing on consistently logging 15 or more miles a week (even if I have to walk some of it) and getting my pace down under 11 minutes (even during the longer runs). And whether I lose 15 more lbs or maintain the weight that I'm at now, I know that I will continue to grow as a runner and that just rocks!

1 comment: