Thursday, February 23, 2012


I've been pretty hard on myself recently in terms of running (alright, I'm hard on myself over everything, but whatever).  I actually got so fed up with the endless monotony of getting up every Saturday for a long run that I decided to do something that I've never, ever done before:  I decided not to run a race that I signed up for.  Post-marathon, when I was struggling with enthusiasm after (what I considered) a truly lackluster performance in my inaugural 26.2, I signed up for the Germantown Half as a way to force myself to keep going.

Weeeelllll, here's a little something about Becky Heineke:  you can't force her to do anything.  You'd think I'd know this, seeing as how I happen to be Becky Heineke, but I thought that if anyone had the power to force me to do something, it'd be me.  And I was WRONG.  Even Becky Heineke can't make Becky Heineke do something she doesn't want to do, and Becky Heineke does not want to train for the damn Germantown Half.

(Although Becky Heineke is a little peeved that she already paid for it.  But she's trying to get over that.)

So instead of focusing on long runs, I started getting back into my pre-marathon routine of going to track workouts on Tuesday nights.  When I originally started going, I was overwhelmingly intimidated, what with many times being the absolute slowest person there, and seemingly not improving at all, ever, despite weeks of effort.  But what I love about the track workouts, and always have, is that they're about running.  These other group runs that I show up to during the week are as focused (if not more focused) on the social aspect afterward as the exercise part.  But at track, you just run.  Hard.  And at the end of it, there's very little standing around and talking because all you want to do is go home and lie on the couch.

Apparently, this shift from long runs to sprint work was the right choice because I've set three personal records for speed in the last two and a half weeks.  True, nothing that I'm about to share is anything to write home about, BUT, considering where I started, they definitely show progress.

I already mentioned my first PR, for my 4-mile time.

I also ran a 7:53 mile last week at track, the first time I've ever broken the 8-minute barrier running a mile.

And two nights ago, I ran a 3:30 800.  Granted, someone very generously paced me (I respond remarkably well to positive reinforcement from a few feet in front of me), but my other (solo) 800s that night were all in the vicinity of 3:42/3:43, which is the type of time I only ran once last year, and that was only because I was angry enough at three people that I could have punched them all in the face, and two of them had the audacity to show up to the track workout that night.  (I also respond well to generalized rage directed at people who annoy me.)

And the thing about each of these milestones is that the sense of achievement has been shadowed by a lingering sense that maybe I could do even better.  I don't mean that in an unhealthy I'll-never-be-satisfied way, but in an I'm-starting-to-sense-that-things-are-possible-that-I-didn't-think-were-possible-before way.

And if I can do that with running, I wonder what other areas of my life I can do that with...  I don't know if it's the impending onset of spring, or the fact that I just switched decades, or a general product boredom, but I've felt like "working on myself" lately.  And it's nice that in one area, at least, where I thought I needed improvement, I am, indeed, making progress.


  1. Way to go Becky :) .........umm how often did I happen to call you becky??? guess that's my acknowledgement of your adulthood xD


  2. ummm I just remembered there was something else I wanted to say: We have another thing in common ..... not even WE can force US to keep going with something we are not commited to from the inside - if it'S not in me, there is no way I'm going to do it.

    It's a bummer. How do others do that?? I want it to. :-( *stompingwithfeet*


  3. :) Well, in some ways, I think it works out in my favor that I can't force myself to do things! It probably saves me from many dead ends in life, although the other side of that is that when I *do* want to do something, I often overlook logic and rational thinking and keep pushing ahead even when I shouldn't. So I guess that particular character trait has its good side and its bad side... :)

    And haha, I like your interpretation of calling me Becky! I'm not sure I've earned the title of "adult" quite yet, but I hope in at least some ways, I'm maturing a little. :D

  4. That is an aspect I didn't even look at. I only saw the bad side: I can't force myself to do the things that would be good for me, if it's not in my head.
    Like with the "getting fit"-thing. Months now...and I know I NEEEEED!!! to do it.

    Well, I bought the shoes I need. And tomorrow I'll make an appointment to sign the contract for the gym.


  5. Yay Becky! So proud of your speed and your general feeling of accomplishment : ) Isn't it so wonderful to have that feeling of getting better at something? I LOVE it! Hope this week continues in that trend : )

  6. OH HO. How quickly things change, Megan...

    So I ran the WCCS 10k on Sunday and I HATED EVERY SECOND OF IT. I walked huge chunks of it. I wanted to GO HOME. And I still wound up PRing by 7 minutes (!).

    So I'm taking (at least) a two week running vacation (aside from a 5k Saturday that I already signed up for) because apparently too much of a good thing can turn into a really bad thing at the drop of a hat.

    I know I'll get back into it soon, but despite all the progress lately, I guess it was just a little too much. :-/ (I know, I can't imagine ME, of all people, ever going overboard with something, but amazingly enough, for the first time ever, it has happened. :D)

    (And Sasha, I hope that this in no way deters you!! I certainly don't mean it that way!)

  7. naaahhh, don't worry. Tho it'd be a nice and easy excuse to just let it go *lol* ... but no, the only thing that keeps me from getting on with the sports thing by now, is the fact that the last week and this week I had job interviews practically every day ... and I have no idea where I'm going - I might even end up leaving germany O.O .... I'm such a weird place. BUT still I have the appointment for the test training on monday, and if I like it, to sign the contract ... tho I hate spending money when I don't know if I will evn be able to use it.