Saturday, November 27, 2004

Patience is a Virtue

So I've been reading some running blogs and "The Competitive Runner's Handbook," which routinely talk about running sub-8:00 and sub-7:00 miles on 10k and longer races, and I got a bit deflated.

I ran just under 9 minutes a mile (albeit hung-over and sleep-deprived) in the Veteran's Day 10k a few weeks ago, and my 5-mile race on Thanksgiving was a good but not exactly blistering 8:36-mile pace. Don't get me wrong; these are very good times if you're running just for fun.

But being the Type A sado-masochist that I am, I want to get better, good enough to fly through races. And right now, I cannot fathom running faster for miles on end. I am in awe of you speedsters.

Then I gave myself a reality check. I only started running in late August/early September. I entered my first race the following month - the Army 10-miler on October 24th. Since then, I've run in two more races (10k and 5-miler). I jumped into this running thang feet first (forgive the pun) on a lark, never realizing that I would get hooked.

Absolute beginner: I mean, I'm still trying to figure out the lingo, i.e. fartlek, tempo runs, etc. And I haven't even yet built up my running base: If I'm lucky, I run 15-20 miles a week, but running books say you should run 20 to 45 miles a week if you want to be competitive on any level.

So I really shouldn't compare myself to more experienced runners. I've got to put in a lot more time and log more miles before I can think of even keeping up with the Speedy Gonzales of the local running world.

Patience, I tell myself, patience.


  1. Yes, grasshopper, you must learn to run, before you can learn to fly!

    Heh, heh. :)

    Only since September? Well, then you're off to an amazing start! I think you'll be flying faster than you could possibly imagine soon enough.

    The term fartlek still makes me laugh. :D

  2. I got faster without even meaning just kinda happened after logging the miles. And of course, getting a little faster just makes me want to get a litle more faster...I relate entirely to your Type-A comment.

    Based on your times so far, you are well on your way!

  3. You are off to a great start already. Patience and persistent probably helps too.

  4. Patience indeed. You made me grin though, having recently written on this very subject. There's always someone faster than you. Realizing that there are many people faster than you - and hanging out with them - is a great way to get faster yourself. Somehow that which at first seemed daunting no longer feels like "work."

    Did you know that there are, undoubtably, people in awe of you, as a speedster? Think about it. Now stop grinning. Alright, grin a little more, but for god's sake wipe don't do it in public.

    Anyway, you're doing pretty well. I just came across your site today, so I haven't yet delved into the past to figure out what your goals or inspirations are, but it sounds like you're on the right track. Your mileage will increase. Your times will decrease. And all will be right with the world.