I’ve been lied to. By an inanimate object.
(Yes, this is another post about the race. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.)
The race is in three days. Until this morning, all my training has been on the treadmill. I’ve talked in length about why I decided to go that way, but suffice it to say it left me with no excuses. This morning was the first time I’ve worked-out outside since starting this 46-week program.
There is a park near my house that has a wide concrete path that’s marked out to one mile. The path goes around a duck pond and past baseball diamonds and a kids play area with swings and jungle gyms and such. For the dinky little town I live in, it’s a really nice park.
When I got there, I made sure the MapMyFitness app was running, and took off. For the first mile, I checked my pace often. At first I didn’t believe I was going as fast as it said I was, so I played around with it – randomly speeding up and slowing down – until I was convinced it was tracking me properly.
I did 3.1 miles in just under 48 minutes, with an average pace of 15 minutes, 22 seconds per mile. To put that in perspective, I’ve been averaging the same distance in 54 minutes with an average pace of almost 18 minutes per mile on the treadmill.
I don’t know why my pace is so much better without the treadmill telling me how fast to go. Maybe my treadmill is wrong. Maybe it’s because I can speed up and slow down as I need, instead of maintaining the same speed throughout my workout. Maybe it was the other people on the path motivating me to not slow down or look goofy. Maybe it was the scenery and the wind and the smell of freshly cut grass. Whatever it was, I’m glad I went to the park this morning.
My biggest worry was that without the treadmill, I would not be able to keep pace and I would go super slow. I pictured myself, sweat dripping down my face, dragging myself to the finish line only to be told that the race had ended – that I was not only last, but so far behind last they stopped counting. I should have known better, but it’s one of many ways I could look like an idiot, and the one that scared me the most.
This morning, for the first time, I feel confident about this race. I’m not where I want to be, but I’m a whole lot closer than I thought. I think I’m finally looking forward to Saturday.