If I look excited in this picture to you, I was. It’s because I took it last week, immediately after I ran the fastest 10k I’ve run since 2012. It wasn’t anything terribly impressive (58 minutes, and my best is 54 minutes), but I was really excited about it. I was coming off a hip injury, getting ready for a half-marathon, and fighting humidity and asthma. I felt fantastic.
When I started the run for the morning, though, I didn’t expect to do any speed work. I hadn’t anticipated a fast run. I was planning on a slow, easy run that pushed probably 70 minutes, give or take a few.
Instead, I got outside, put in my headphones, and ran like the wind–or at least what felt like the wind. Want to know why? Because I didn’t want to be late for work.
Not So Fast
I’m not the biggest fan of speed work. I’m not a sprinter. I do some faster runs and tempo runs as part of my training, but they’re mostly for very short intervals or shorter distances like a mile or up to 5k.
For anything longer than a 5k, I’m all about endurance. Slow and steady. I like leisurely runs where I can just enjoy myself and what I’m doing. That kind of run also helps my asthma to not destroy myself by pushing too hard in the heat and humidity.
That’s all hunky dory when I’m off for the summer and have all the time in the world. But now that the semester has started, I don’t have all the time in the world. I have a 70 minute commute, which means I don’t have time for a 70 minute 10k.
So I pushed myself to run it faster. Otherwise, I wouldn’t make it to work on time.
Talk about motivation, right?
I ran that 10k on the morning of the second day of the semester, and it was the first scheduled run day of the semester. I didn’t know if I was being overly optimistic with the time I allowed myself. I didn’t know 100% what the traffic was going to be like. I had no idea if I could take a shower, shave, get dressed, and make lunch in enough time to make it on time.
The last thing I wanted to do was be late because I was running.
So I ran faster. I ran harder. It was awesome.
I can only hope as the semester moves forward that I’ll fall into a routine and start running faster out of desire to better myself instead of fear of screwing up.
Why do you run the way you do? What keeps you moving and pushing for that next PR?