Big Girl in a Little Coat

I know running fast all the time is not good for me even though I want to be fast. I can’t stand getting passed on the trail by breathless runners, or glancing at my pace that was my starting pace when I first began running six years ago. I know my heart rate should stay in zone 2 for 80% of my runs. I know I don’t have the years of experience that some runners have, nor am I gifted when it comes to endurance sports. I have short, stubby legs for my height and a long torso that catches the wind like a sail.

Since I started competing in triathlons, I’ve managed to get my swimming arms and shoulders back, which means more weight on my 5’4″ frame while running and cycling.  Even my dressy wool winter coat is now too tight in the shoulders. If I’m wearing that wool coat, don’t ask me to reach or pick up anything off the floor. I can’t. The coat has to come off first. I am the Incredible Hulk, bursting my clothes off as I flex.

I know I need to run slow to get fast, but with everything else happening, I feel like a turtle running with rabbits. I want to qualify for Boston, I want to break 25 minutes in a 5K and I want to knock off a few more minutes to break two hours in a half marathon. You know, goals?

Instead of complaining about it, which I’ve done, just ask my coach. I am going to embrace the slower than molasses miles. I need to do this if I plan to finish Ironman Chattanooga that I’ve already signed up for and teach myself some patience. I will do my best to avoid Strava and Garmin Connect so that I don’t compare myself to my faster friends, essentially plugging my ears and saying, “I can’t hear you!” when they talk about their races. I guess I’ll be a bad running friend and run more slow miles by myself to reach my Ironman dream. One goal at a time is best.

After Ironman Chattanooga, I’ll either train to BQ or if that doesn’t seem possible, I’ll keep chipping away at my triathlon times, slowly, but surely and be thankful that I am able to compete even if it is slowly. And, I’ll watch myself morph into a big girl in a little coat, bursting at the seams of what is possible.