Last night I realized that today would be my “Streak Day” #150! I can’t believe that I have made it this far with the streak – but now it is just so much a part of my day I can’t imagine not continuing.
I was trying to think of a way to make #150 a little special. I decided that it would be a good day to at least try for the 10 minute mile. I have been very close but wasn’t really sure I could do it. I’ve put in a lot of miles over the past week and, to be honest, my legs are pretty sore from all of the hiking and walking we have been doing. The last few times I tried to push for it, I realized I just wasn’t quite there yet.
So, this morning, I spent a few minutes before heading to the gym just kinda psych-ing myself up for the challenge. I really wanted to reach my goal today but was also going to listen to my body. There is definitely a fine line between pushing yourself harder and just being stupid. I knew from past experience, it was going to be painful toward the end but it was most likely mind-over-matter at that point and my body and heart could probably handle it.
I went to use the treadmill at Koko Fit Club (as usual) and put on some motivating music – which, for me, is obnoxious rap garbage (but I love it)! Rather than run at a solid 6.0 mph for 10 minutes, I like to switch it up a bit and do:
.1 mile at 5.7 mph, .1 mile at 6.3 mph – alternate twice
.1 mile at 5.8 mph, .1 mile at 6.2 mph … and then the rest at 6.0 mph.
Not sure if this strategy is a good idea or not – I’ll need to talk to my running expert friends. For now, that seems to work best for me as I don’t tend to be able to run very fast right off the bat and that gives me a bit of time to warm up. Now, I could (and often do) run slower for a bit before starting any normal paced running but I was trying to conserve energy today – probably a mistake in retrospect because I could have injured myself. Anyway, I was doing pretty well until the last 1/4 mile or so. My body was starting to work pretty hard and those thoughts of self-doubt were creeping in. I just tried to focus on my breathing and anything other than the fact that I was near death. I also kept telling myself that this was only TEN MINUTES and I could do anything for that long.
I had to crank it to 6.3 mph for the last bit of it to make sure I would hit the 1.00 mile mark before 10 minutes. And I DID IT! Pretty much right on the nose. I didn’t know if I wanted to pass out or cry but I was SO happy. This “10 minute mile” has been a goal of mine for a long long time -way before I even thought about Optifast or even losing weight. For some reason, the 10 minute mile just embodied a decent level of fitness and something that was once attainable as a kid. I am such a slow runner I never thought I would get here because 6.0 mph on the treadmill just always seemed really really fast. Now, the next step is to translate this to street running, which is much harder, but that will come in time too. Over the summer I’ll put the treadmill up to a 1.0 incline to better simulate running outside. In the meantime though, I honestly believe I need to back the speed down just a bit – even though I achieved my goal today, I shouldn’t be in quite that much distress towards the end. I think I need to ease into that a little more while still pushing hard.
But, today, I did it! And I will always have that 🙂