Returning to the Wall

3 days ago, for the first time, I was unable to complete one of the workouts. 2 miles @ 9:27 was enough for me to hit the quit button and cut the run short. I felt like Casey Seeger (C-gar!) in An Officer and a Gentleman where she is unable to get over Sgt. Foley’s wall. Today, I returned. Veni, vini, vici.

Even though I defeated the wall, it seemed difficult. Again after just over two miles, I got cramp in my shoulder (of all places) and a stitch started forming in my stomach. I saw the quit button again, but this time didn’t reach for it.

So what’s going on?

Well, for the last 7 weeks, I have trained my body to run for about 20 mins, and hit about 2 miles. Even though in the early workouts, much of that was walking, the conditioning psychologically has been “2 miles” or “20 minutes”, whichever comes first. Even the loop I have slowly carved out in Red Hook is, more or less, 2 miles. I can break it up into manageable chunks; just this road, just this corner, OK half way, now just head back, just one more corner. I’m always ready for the finish line, and not really focused on the run itself.

At this point I am torn, as I only have 3 workouts to do, I really ought to finish. However I should also break out of this repetition before I decide this is only routine. Perhaps 2 weeks of doing 2 laps (which would be 4 miles) at a much slower pace before going back to 3.1 miles and getting my 5K time. At this point I am not sure.

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