Harder, better, faster, stronger.

After summing up my year of running last week I’ve started to empty my race bib holder in preparation for the new year. And also finally started to do some goal setting. Lesson learned in 2013? This former fat kid CAN actually run. Which in 2014 leads to the question: can this former fat kid run …fast?

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The concept of “getting fast” raises a lot of questions in my head. What exactly does that mean? Does fast mean 9 minute miles? Does it mean 6 minute miles? Who determines when I’m fast? Let me be clear- I don’t ever expect to win any races, and I certainly don’t expect to ever be faster than some of my friends… but does it mean I could someday catch up and keep up with them? So many questions.

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When this new goal was first being discussed it came along with a lot of other stipulations. Am I ready to get uncomfortable? To feel like I want to throw up? To move out of my safe little world of running?

And as much as hearing those things scared the living be-Jesus out of me, I was nodding yes while my stomach tied itself into knots. It scares me but at the same time I want to know what it’s like to train and push yourself that hard. So badly. Is this normal?

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I guess it is. When you think about it – it’s why as babies we touch things that are dangerous, as teenagers we drive recklessly, as adults we bungee jump and skydive. As humans the thrill of curiosity often outweighs the fear of the unknown. I want to touch sharp objects drive recklessly, bungee jump and skydive – in terms of running of course.

So it began. Step one: a timed mile. On a cold, rainy night we headed down to the track to see in fact just how fast I can run. I should mention that I have this irrational fear of tracks- I don’t know if it reminds me of high school gym class, or if it’s because I hate being told to stay between two lines, but tracks and I don’t get along. So to be told that I had to run a mile as fast as I could was kind of nerve wracking. I was told not to look at my watch and to just keep going but I kept asking myself “Is this fast? Am I going as fast as I can right now?”.  When I finished I was gasping for air and wondering if I was going to throw up but as quickly as those feelings came on, they went away just as fast. And as soon as I was able to breathe again and confident I WASN’T going to puke I was eager to know what’s next.

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With my mile at the track “Operation Make Kathleen Faster” (I’m really loving the code name I’ve given it) has officially begun. I know there are days that are going to suck, runs that are going to hurt, and at least two times when I cry and say “Why the HELL am I doing this?”. But I’m ready to get better, ready to be faster, ready to feel stronger. I want to take everything I did in 2013- and knock it socks off. I want to cross each finish line this year with my face hurting because I’m that proud of myself. Something tells me that track and I are going to become well acquainted. And it also tells me- it will be worth it.

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About Kathleen

When your legs get tired run with your heart.

Posted on December 23, 2013, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

    • Thanks Michelle! I feel like I have a lot to learn, but it’s something I really want to strive for.

      Also I’m glad to hear that wirey feeling is… Normal? 🙂

  1. I have the same goal! My goal in 2013 was to break 30 minutes in my 5k – and I finally did it back in September! I also PRed twice on my 10k times this year which makes me feel like I might be getting closer to being faster! I love your idea of running on a track. I think you’re definitely going to get faster next year. Good luck on your goal!

  2. I know I ma greatly motivated to find out what my fast is, and what I am capable of. We are all built differently, with different hearts and lungs and combinations of muscle fibers. I am fast compared to some, and dusted by others. But I am faster than I ever thought *I* could ever be, and that’s pretty awesome.

    After running track in high school, I stayed away for years, preferring easy runs. But the desire to get faster drew me back and now I love to hate it. There’s something nice about a flat, perfectly measured surface that makes i so easy to calibrate your progress. And mile time trials are brutal! I feel like my throat has been scoured with a wiry scrubber for about ten minutes after.

    We all have our own motivations that keep us running. I am glad you found a new one. Keep us posted 🙂

  3. This is so inspiring and I totally thought of you when I was doing my hills training today as part of my goal to be a faster/better/more Kathleen like runner!

    • Awww thanks lady! And the grass is greener on the other side because I’m over here aspiring to do the things you’ve done some day. I guess we all take pieces from each other and learn, huh? 🙂

  4. LOVE this post! Love hearing that you’re ready to push yourself to your limits (and beyond) — truth be told – it makes me feel a little less crazy 🙂 … I like to do the same! I’m excited to read more about your progress!! Keep us posted and keep up the solid runs and speedwork… but be aware that the harder your push yourself the more prone you are to injury (grrr stupid injury) so rest days are (unfortunately) a necessity to allow the body to heal. Be strong, run smart!!

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