Until about a year ago I considered myself a good runner. I was always fast on the bases. I could chase girls down on the soccer field. I was good in short, fast domains. After college, pre CrossFit, I got into distance running. I started training strictly for distance. I felt like I was a solid runner for someone who was “not a runner”. I could hold just over a 7 minute mile for a 5K. Running a 10K around 8 minute mile pace was a breeze. My fastest half marathon was 1:52. For a novice runner I was pretty happy with theses times.
Once I got into CrossFit I thought I would be able to manage running lots of distance and the intensity of the CrossFit WODs. Some people can. I cannot. My hips started to ache and tendons around my knees would get tight and sore. It wasn’t worth it. I liked running, but I loved CrossFit. Once I backed off the distance a little it was hard to get back into running anything over three miles. I was much slower and that frustrated me. I kind of let my running fall off all together. WODs that had 400’s in them used to get me excited. Now I actually looked forward to rowing rather than running. Crazy, I know.
It was really brought to my attention at the regional this year. Let’s set the stage. First WOD of the weekend: 1000 m run 30 Handstand Push Ups 1000 m row. I knew I wouldn’t be the fastest girl. I knew there were some girls who had been runners and were going to kill it with ease. I thought I would hang with about half the pack. You know, the non runners who wanted to keep a good, steady pace. Well, that lasted about 100m. Then something weird happened…I was all alone. Not just a few strides behind….I finished at least 100m behind every other girl in my heat. I got the pity cheer from volunteers at the far side of the running route. “Good Job” slow clap, clap… “Keep it up”. I could read their faces. “Poor girl, she is out of her league”. It kind of made me laugh inside. Was this really happening? Was I really in last? Yup.
Thankfully, I came in and knocked out my hand stands and kept a good pace on the row. I finished 3rd in my heat of 14. 5th overall of the females. Getting off the rower at the end I had a huge smile on my face. I was thinking, “Thank goodness”. My friends were cheering. My husband was in shock. I was happy. I hear “Boy Ginny, you really suck at running!” Ha! I couldn’t help but laugh. I did really suck at that run. Thanks David for keeping it real! 🙂 It wasn’t anything I didn’t already know. I knew going in my runs had sadly turned into a weakness. I neglected them and it showed.
I was in complete awe of the ladies that blazed ahead of me. I envy their speedy legs! It was 100% humbling.
Now I’m on a mission to get faster. I was fast once and I can be fast again. After my two weeks of rest post regional I sat down with my “coach” (for those who know me you know I’m talking about my husband, Kody.) He had been researching some speed work programs and thought an intro to CrossFit Endurance would be good start. Kody found it in Competitor Magazine.
Here is a link to the six-week program. I’m not following the WODs, just the running on Tuesday and Thursday. I’m working it into my regular training. It started out great and then my shins developed some minor shin splints. Obviously my legs were not used to the sprinting or running in general. I took two weeks off from track work, but have continued running in my WODs. My legs are feeling good again so I’m going to get back at it starting this week. It was amazing though after the first two weeks my running was already feeling 100% better. It is a manageable program if you are looking for something to jump-start your running. I know this isn’t the fix, but it is a good start.
Grab a friend. Find a track. Get at it. Get faster!