Well, it was a long, hot and busy summer. With the temps being in the 90s and above this summer and the humidity ridiculously high, it was all I could do to walk/jog the running track this summer. After a winter and spring filled with sporadic workout attempts on the treadmill, I thought I was really in good shape. That is until I tried to run outside in the heat and humidity to prepare for our first 1/2 marathon that was held in July this year!
Anyone who says that running a treadmill isn't the same as running outside is telling the absolute truth in more ways than one. For one thing, the treadmill is not in the full-blown sun, usually has air-conditioner or at least a fan blowing on it and propels your body forward so y0u do less work. Don't get me wrong, I am not by any means belittling the treadmill or the value of a good work out on one. As I said, I had tracked many, many miles on mine and could run three to four miles with no walk breaks.
For me, however, running outside was exceedingly harder than the treadmill (maybe it was the never ending hills in my north GA area) or maybe it was a mind-thing. I'm really not sure but I actually had to learn how to breathe while running all over again. I really didn't figure it out in time for my first half and spent more time walking than running -- but I finished the entire 1/2 in the middle of July so I guess that is something.
Later in the summer when I finally ran a whole mile at the running trail, I was ecstatic! I then walked about a 1/16th of a mile and realized I could probably have kept on going so I then finished the next mile jogging or should I say towards the end "shuffling" but determined not to finish walking. I was so happy to realize I could do this because now that I know I can do it I feel my training will be more focused, challenged, and productive. Afterall, I am told by a running friend that if you can run a mile, you can run two and if you can run two, you can run three, four, or five. I know when I was running on the treadmill, once I was able to run a mile it was only a few short weeks before I was running three or four miles so I am hopeful that that will be the case for my outside trail running, too.
Anyway, realizing you've found your stride feels so empowering. When I realized I was actually doing it, I panicked for a moment and began to have trouble breathing again but I quickly pushed the negativity that was running rampant in my mind back to the shadows and kept on running.
I can't wait to go out there on Friday and run again! Only 6 weeks to go til the November 1/2 Marathon. Hope you enjoy your weekend. Happy running!!