In 2010 I began learning to run using intervals, or the Galloway method. Well that isn’t completely true, I started using the Couch25K app and then met a group of people who were doing Galloway and I never looked back. 5 years later and a move to the Sunshine State and I’m no longer with that running group.
When we moved I decided I wanted to become a more serious runner. Meaning that I wanted to actually run. I didn’t want to run/walk I wanted to run! Why I made this decision I will never know. Part of it was that I wanted to be able to join my husband and some of our faster friends. Part of it was that I wanted to get better. I haven’t seen a PR in over a year. I remember getting to a turning point in my running about 3 years ago. I was getting faster than the people I normally ran with but I wasn’t fast enough to join our other friends. I had 2 choices, stay with my friends while running, or run alone until I could get faster. I chose my friends.
Now, here in Florida, I am at that same turning point. I saw it this weekend. I had to run 9 miles (which is my longest run in a year) and some other similar paced people were doing 10 miles. The catch…they were doing 3:00/1:00 (or run for 3 minutes walk for 1 minute). I thought about it. I’ve been truly missing the social aspect of running. I don’t really have a running buddy down here. I did 1 interval with them and I realized that was not my goal. So, when the familiar beep sounded for the next walk I wished them luck and took off on my own. I than ran a pretty lonely 8.80 miles.
I’m glad I stuck to what my training said to do. I’m glad I stuck to what my goals were and did what I needed to do. However, for most of those miles it just made me miss my running partner back in MD. That was comfortable and that was familiar. This course that I’m on now is new, and different, and harder.
The siren call of the interval beep is a strong one. I know it so well that it is almost a pavlovian response. Beep – RUN- beep – WALK and so on and so forth. The days of completing a race are gone. The simple act of getting out there is no more. I want to compete in these races. I like having goals and benchmarks.
That is not to say that those who choose the interval run method aren’t competing. There are people WAY faster than me who use this method. The interval beep just signifies a different time and place for me now. Time to find the draw of the steady stride instead of the comfortability of the beep.