22 Aug 2013

That Elusive 12.5

So, this month I've been hitting Barry's Bootcamp hard (and done very little actual blogging). Sure, I've done a few longs runs in preparation for the Royal Parks Ultra I'm doing in October and a few good, hard spin sessions, but mainly I've been at Barry's getting whipped into shape by mainly the two  gentlemen Sandy and Shane. For someone who considers herself pretty fit it's been hard going, not to mention slightly shameful to realise that I seemingly only have one speed that I run at...slow. I mean don't get me wrong,  I've always known I'm no Usain Bolt, but I didn't think I was as firmly stuck in a comfort zone as I am(was?!).

It's been great having the people at Barry's pushing me on, getting me to challenge myself and try and break out of that comfort cage (as I've started referring to it as), as my next marathon goal is to try and qualify for Boston Marathon (eeeeek!)..... Having done three marathons with 4.10 - 3.59 - 3.44 as finishing times I know that I can improve, but knowing I've got to cut at least NINE minutes on my last finish time  feels daunting. I ran a half marathon in June at the Boston qualifying race pace in July but I don't know if that made me feel any better as I knew that to qualify I'd have to keep that pace for yet another 13.1 miles. Gulp.

Yesterday a glimmer of hope was lit though. Having done my normal morning class at Barry's I decided to go to another class in the afternoon when I got let out of work early. I felt a bit tired leaving work so I silently hoped that it would be a busy class where I could hide behind legions of other people - but no such luck! It was five other people there and Shane was not going to let anyone off easy, he made that clear early on. I decided to just go for it as much as I could and hope for the best (my standard survival strategy at Barry's...) and in all honesty I was doing fairly well considering it was my second class of the day. When we were on our last treadmill sessions and were doing the dreaded 90 seconds runs with sprint finishes Shane jumped up on my treadmill for the second to last and resolutely cranked up my speed to 11.5. Upon seeing my terrified face he just said 'I know you, I know you can run at this speed' and quite correctly I did manage to run at 11.5mph. For the last one I myself turned the speed up to 11.5 only to have Shane turn it up to 12.5  - and you know what, I managed that 30 second run too! It might have only been a short amount of time but at least I for that time I got out of my comfort zone, challenged myself and properly sprinted. For those 30 seconds I did feel like I would be able to reach that qualifying time and I left the class tired but with a big grin on my face. 12.5 mph has always seemed like an elusive speed and I've never believed that I'd be able to reach it but apparently Shane believed I could. Sometimes you need to have someone that believes you can do it, and you will be able to do it!

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