What do Red Hen and Christy Turlington have in common? Yep, that`s right. Not a lot.
But we both run.
I caught up with Christy(cough, cough) in an article in the most recent edition of The Sunday Times.
In it, the former supermodel is quoted as having said that
`With running, it`s all about pushing past the five mile mark “You feel better then-that`s when your body wakes up” `(My italics)
I was thinking about this as I clipped along a seven mile route around Skerries yesterday evening. I was trying a new route, as I needed it to rejuvenate my running motivation.
But I still felt like quitting all along the first couple of miles. See, I don`t need a running buddy you know when I can keep a whole conversation going in my head
Good Me “Ooohh, this is great. Love the sea and it`s so cooling with that lovely breeze”
Bad Me: Damn. Westerly wind and I`m running straight into it. This is going to be tough”
Good Me “Great! There`s lots of people all around the harbour this evening”
Bad Me: “Well, they`ll have a good laugh when I pass”
Good Me: Don`t be so negative. They`re probably thinking it`s great to see an old lady running
Bad Me:So even you`re saying this lycra get up looks ridiculous?
Most times I really feel like throwing in the towel after a mile of this nonsense. But, pushing past the two mile mark, and I`m beginning to feel like I am actually running. All the crappy stuff is gone from my head, my legs feel like they`ve grown a couple of inches, the whole machine just seems to be ticking along more smoothly.
Not that I don`t get into a row with myself again, you understand, but after two miles, there generally is a significant improvement in form.
Two miles. Not five. And I thought what Ms Turlington`s quote and how discouraging it would be to believe I`d have to wait five miles for Good Me to take over the show.
So, in the interests of research, and in you, gentle reader, I decided to trawl through all the running articles in the world and track down the source of Ms Turlington`s quote.
And, God bless google, but I found it here. Yep, Runner`s World.
Christy: I discovered that you almost always have to grin and bear the first couple of miles, but then that’s when your body wakes up and starts to feel good.
So, Ms Turlington`s mean machine starts to wake up after the first couple of miles as well. Who`d have thought my body would have something in common with a super model`s, eh?
She does state too that “I’ve started to realize that you feel better after the five-mile mark.”
But her body wakes up after two miles.
I wish I`d known that when I started running. It seemed to take forever and an age to push past one mile. And then one and a half. And maybe eventually two. Such a surprise to know that the miles get easier after that. Not that Bad Me never jumps in to converse, mind. But there`s a lot less of her about. And I even, as in yesterday, can get to pick up the pace after that.
I agree with Christy too about pushing on to the five mile point and feeling better. That`s true for me too. Most of my runs are near an end at that point. So, too right, I feel good.
Christy has run a marathon too. Just like me! With just eleven weeks training, she did ran New York in 2011 in 4 hours 20 minutes and 47 seconds. And she had something else to say about her long runs with which I can concur.
It’s almost like meditation for me. I’ve been a yoga practitioner for many years, and I didn’t realize there was as much of a connection between long-distance running and my yoga practice
Ooohh, I get that meditation vibe on my long runs too. And I used to do a lot of yoga
Yes, me and Christy. Perfect running buddies.
So, I`ve more in common with a supermodel than I`d realised. Heck, if this keeps up I might keep those extra couple of inches I feel coming on after the two mile point. Another six inches, and I`d be laughing.
Or at least running on a perfectly decent pair of stilts.
Seriously though, if you`d like to run, remember it gets easier as you go along. Tune in to where your wake up point might be. And if you are already running, could you let me know where your wake up point is?
Maybe, like me, you`ve something in common with a supermodel.
And go on, you can brag about your stunning good looks and great legs too…
There is a good podcast of her talking with the women of Another Mother Runner about running and her organization Every Mother Counts; it is on iTunes, I believe. And I think I read the same interview with her…the feeling good after 5 miles part was when she was talking about running the marathon.
I am a ten minutes person, though I find if I am training for distance (1/2 mara- mara) I don’t hit my good pace till about mile 7. But it is so important to tell beginners they will feel crap for first (insert preferred interval) time, otherwise they just feel it is forever. The only ultra I have done (30 miles) led me to realise that feeling crap goes away, I assumed once you felt tired or achey after 10 miles or so that was it, but it isn’t. Things change, your body thinks of other parts to wince about, and if you think of England (or Benedict Cumberbatch) you can survive it.
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I think that for beginners it’s really difficult to tell the difference between that wall/bump/slump/hellish feeling at the start of a run and the ACTUAL wall. The former one you just have to struggle through before you get into the rhythm and “wake up”, and the latter one is the one that means you have reached the absolute end of your abilities.
When I started running I felt like I was about to die after merely 250 meters… If I was brave enough to push past that, it started getting easier and I was able to manage maybe 2km before collapsing. I think this is where a more experienced running buddy is helpful. It sometimes helps if someone forces you to go that extra bit further/faster. You will absolutely HATE that poor helpful runner while in the middle of it, but that will change to LOVE as soon as the run finishes (cue runner’s high) and you realise “it was not that bad” and that you just beat all your PBs. 🙂
My “wall” has definitely moved as I am getting better at running, and that sinking feeling now usually sets in at around 2km and sticks around until around 3km when I can finally start to enjoy the run.
I like your idea of moving that wall. One thing I`m trying with renewed interest are intervals. I`ve blogged a bit about it here but you can also look up the documentary “The Truth About Exercise” and read about the theory about pushing really hard for very short intervals and how it improves cardio vascular fitness. Truth is, I`m a lazy sod and if there`s a short cut to speed and fitness, I want it!
I think i relate more to Christy and her struggle through the first few miles than Gen. Petreaus and his 6 min mile paramour.
Haha! Love it-you`re recalling my thoughts on the real Petreaus affair! Have to say too, in reading about Christy, I realised how difficult it must be to train in the spotlight. She can`t run down Central Park without people recognizing her, after all, and her finishing times and training schedules are out there for folk to pick through. No, I`ve decided: fame is not for me;-)
Whenever I try to go fast (as you did), I always conjure up Petreaus. And I agree, being famous does major damage to your invisibility cloak.
Oh, a very timely post for me, thank you. I’m still very much a beginner at this running thing (started 8 months ago), but I know I always find the first 5-10 minutes pretty tough. Then sometimes it seems better after that. But as I’m very slow, that’s considerably less than a mile – the idea that it wouldn’t get better until after ***5 miles!!!*** would be enough for me to never run again.
Though as you say, the other big problem is getting out of the door. But I have promised myself that I will run tomorrow. And have written it online three times now, so it will be very embarrassing if I don’t. 🙂 I shall think of myself as a supermodel as I run.
Actually, I`d say some of those supermodels are under such pressure to look so perfect they probably think more negatively of themselves than the general population. But yes, I completely agree about one being put off by the 5 mile comment. That`s exactly what I thought when I read it. If I were starting out believing that I`d have to struggle to get to the five mile point before feeling any better, I surely would give up.
I did run a 6 miler when I was in my 20s but that was a very very long time ago. Effectively, three years ago was my starting point in taking all this running lark seriously. I remember then training for a 5km and thinking “Wow, wouldn`t it be something to be able to run a mile non stop.”
I never started out believing I`d run a marathon. That sorta crept up on me in time.
So take your time, and knock as much enjoyment as you can out of the whole process. It`s great that you love the Great Outdoors and bring all your observations back with you and to your blog. Thank you so much for that.
Now, off you go tomorrow and get that run in, or we`ll all be very cross with you! 😉
I can’t run to save my life. So I have nothing in common with supermodels. Are you sorry for me? 🙂
Oh, I don`t know about that. Models jet set too you know!
I agree, but as I am slow the first three are tough unless I am doing only three!
I see some people go by minutes, rather than miles. I think it might help me to think in terms of time. Even if only for a change. Sometimes it`s the tedium of running the same route, the same way that can make it all seem harder.
So agree. For me, it’s somewhere between 3 and 4 miles. This may be why I’m better at longer distances. Even if I do a couple of miles of warmup before a 5K or 10K race, I feel like I’m well into the third mile before I hit my stride.
I’ve heard that the toughest part of a run is minutes 8-12, so I always remind myself of that and make myself hang on until 12:01, telling myself that if I still want to walk at that point, I can. Usually, if I can make it to that point, I’m awake, as you said.
Interesting. Abradypus also mentions eight minutes. I don`t tend to think of it in terms of minutes-but I will now.
As i recall, I usually hit the “wall” before the “wake up” point.
Haha! Oh, I know that wall too!
Oh I hate when quotes are taken out of context, a “couple of miles” is definitely a lot less intimidating than five miles! I’m not running long enough distances yet to know when my body wakes up (I run about 3.5 km max so far) but I’ll be looking out for that mark in the weeks and months to come.
Absolutely agree with your about the quote out of context. I suspect the quoter never ran a day in his/her life! Big difference between two and five when you`re running! Oh you`ll do all that fitness thing really well and you`ll get a great buzz out of it all. You`ll have to start a new blog of course:Runningsorcha?
Ooh that’s a thought! 🙂
Great legs and good looks? This is why I wear long compression pants, a cap and sun glasses 🙂 My wakeup point is the 1km mark. The first km I want to stop, my breathing is out of control – but at the 1km point the rhythm takes over and while I don’t always enjoy my runs it’s at this point that I realise (again) that I can go the distance. I set out with a distance in mind and settle back and get it done – the distance will determine the pace (slow, very slow or ‘snail’). I’ve been trying to do negative splits but if it is a very long run I just aim to finish. And you are right, the more I run the easier it gets to believe that I can do it!
Oh I do the sunnies and cap too! Great disguise! And I believe I might actually look a tad sportier in that get up. Whatever helps, right? Negative splits? Nope, never tried them.
Good post! I’ve done some research too, it turns out that me and Beckham have a lot in common too….except for good looks and lots of money!
There`s a lot to be said for being extremely talented at only one thing. That creates the single mindedness needed to excel. That`s my excuse anyway-middling good at a lot of things and no genius for anything!
Oh I do, I do. 🙂 I think it may take me a bit longer as I always say I need to get to 3 but that may be the point where I realise it is less of a struggle. It is so good to know I am ‘normal’.
Haha! The `you are not alone`feeling! Very consoling though!
Well you do think that maybe you are a bit wierd…I mean you wouldn’t make it up. Would you?
Do I? As for making stuff up, I have a lousy memory, so the truth is always easier!:-)
My wake up point varies, but if I can get myself out the door and through the first eight minutes then I’m usually okay.
Getting out the door is often the hardest part, isn`t it?