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I’ve been taking the advice of an experienced and educated runner since signing up for my first 5K.  I have backed off the miles and began incorporating cross training into my routine.  Spin definitely helps with endurance there is no denying that- I have seen it first hand.  But, I had quit doing anything, except running.  I was improving on my distance, but not so much in my speed.  I actually am not interested in getting to a 9 or 10 minute mile.  Maybe I will one day, but it’s not my goal.  I would be happy in the 11 to 12 minute mile range.  I am not a spring chicken anymore, and I don’t want to injure myself.  However,  I do enjoy running and it would be nice to finish a 4 or 5 mile run in a quicker time.  Right now, it takes me 55 minutes to run 4 miles.  That is a pretty long run, and sometimes its hard to fit everything in my schedule.  So, if I could speed it up and bit I think it would be more fulfilling to me all the way around.

I was advised to go back and incorporate Spin and either swimming or yoga a couple of days of the week and back off the miles.  I am doing my runs twice a week at 3 miles a piece.  I have seen improvement in my speed.  I now can run my 5K in 41 minutes, whereas it was taking me 45 minutes before.  I also finished 4 miles in 55 minutes which is a complete 5 minutes faster than in the past.  SO, the cross training is definitely helping, although I find I am struggling to run any further than the 3.10.  I am running just enough to reach the goal.  So, this last Sunday run I made a pact with myself to try and focus on improving my time of the 5K with each run, but then take some pressure off myself and run an extra mile at whatever pace I am feeling comfortable with at that moment in order to push myself that little bit of an extra distance.  By making that deal with myself it mentally took any expectations that I might not live up to off myself and I could just run.  It worked.  Even with telling myself to run at any pace I felt comfortable with on that last mile, I still kept at a 13.44 minute mile.  That is an improvement.  I use to run at 14.30 to 15 minute miles.  

This will take dedication and it might take a year of continuous training to really get where I want.  Some people are more natural runners, and others have to work at it.  I have to work at it.  But, that is OK.  It’s baby steps, and with each new accomplishment comes the realization of how far I’ve actually come.  I am running this weekend with a group that are training for a marathon.  It’s a bit scary for me, but then again I know there aren’t any expectations on me to keep up.  I won’t keep up, nor run as far, but I will be around some good energy that will inspire me further.  I am there to learn.  Also, it was suggested to me to post a before picture and then document my progress with photo’s as I go.  I think that is a good idea for one, it definitely keeps me accountable, but also, I think it can be good motivation to inspire someone else.  I have seen results since running.  I have lost a good 3 inches around my back and my waist is smaller.  I have lost a total of 25 lbs .  I will work on getting that together for the next post.