From Wogging to Jogging

On my last post I mentioned that one of my goals was to run my best and my fastest at Ragnar next month by maintaining the 11 min/mile required for our team. I realize that for some folks, an 11min/mile isn’t that fast. But for me that pace is achievable only for a 3 miles or less, but anything longer than that is a “kick butt”  pace for me. iRUN collage

Somewhat recently (about 9 months ago), I set a goal  to become a faster runner. Of course, the word “faster” is relative. When I began training for my first and last marathon (26.2 miles) 10 years ago, the goal was to get moving. Speed was never an important factor for me. So I took it slow… and by slow I mean molasses slow…like a turtle in peanut butter slow.. you get my drift. Slow got me across the finish line in 6hrs 28min and I was happy with that.

Two years ago when I started running again consistently (after giving it up for nearly 8 years), “slow” was still ingrained in my running DNA. I enjoyed running wogging (jogging so slow I might have well be walking) 5 miles at a 13+ pace. I could laugh and talk and not get too winded. In the end I burned a few hundred calories, broke a nice sweat and felt accomplished.

It wasn’t until about 9 months ago after signing up for Ragnar Key West  (200 mile overnight relay race) that I realized my kind of slow was not going to cut it. The team is required to have an overall 11 minute pace. I was in trouble! So I enlisted the help of a running coach and signed up for several races to keep me motivated. The coach, in addition to giving me a running plan, monitored my progress weekly and made modifications and suggestions as needed.Two of the most important lessons he taught me was 1. Run Faster 2: Don’t take walk breaks just because you’re tired. That was foreign to me. Why would I want to run faster and ruin my fun? Being tired seemed like the perfect reason for a walk break. My coach advised that brief walk breaks should be predetermined…such as for water stations. Ok, I get it… I think.

Anyway, once I began applying those two principles, running changed for me. The conversations and laughter pretty much was exchanged for regular  breathlessness and side stitches. Leisure runs became the exception, not the norm. Running was no longer as fun for me, but it became so much more rewarding. My 13+ pace for longer miles is now a low 11 and sub 10 when I push. It wasn’t easy, but I’m excited with the progress I’ve made from “wogging” to actually jogging :) Hopefully next stop: Running…fast!

So I’m excited that next month I’ll have an opportunity to put all my training to the test when I complete my 3 legs (about 16 miles total) running with an overall 11 minute/mile pace.

This year I want to maintain a sub 11 running pace, diversify my workouts by adding more strength training (which I’ve recently fallen in love <3 with BODYPUMP) and fun classes like spinning and Zumba.

Ragnar was my motivation for achieving a faster running pace. It was a constant physical reminder of the goal I wanted to achieve.

  • What’s your motivator for achieving your goal? It doesn’t have to be fitness related…
  • Are you a wogger, a jogger or a runner?
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28 thoughts on “From Wogging to Jogging

    1. Hope@DefiningHope Post author

      Thanks Kim. LOL… You are definitely NOT a jogger. It actually just sounds funny. Technically I’m a jogger, but I still call myself a runner. I just made the distinction for speed

  1. Alison

    Motivation for a goal: proving that I can actually step it up and achieve something that seems out of reach. I hate the idea of failing, so that in itself is a strong motivator.

    I’m a walker, Hope! I tried jogging over the years but I get terrible shin splints, so I keep it to brisk walking.
    Alison recently posted…Embracing “focus” in 2014My Profile

  2. Michell

    “Like a turtle in peanut butter”…now THAT’S slow Hope! :-) I’m glad you clarified what “wogging” is, I haven’t a clue! Well, I have to admit Hope, I don’t wog, jog or run…I salk (seldolmly walk). Stop giving me the side-eye JOI! Teheheee! :-) But seriously, I’m so proud of you Hope! I tell you, I wanna be JUST like you when I grow up! Keep up the great work…you inspire me!
    What motivates me…my new blog planner Leslie got me for Joi’s “Holly Bloggy” Christmas gift exchange. I’m so loving that thing! Have a good one Hope! :-)
    Michell recently posted…1989…25 years later!My Profile

    1. Hope@DefiningHope Post author

      LOL..OMG. Love it. Maybe the salk might turn into falk (frequently walk 😉 )

      Thank you so much for your encouragement Michell.
      Looking forward to seeing the effects of that blog planner. It seems like a great tool.

  3. Joi @ Rx Fitness Lady

    I don’t train to run just because we had to run so much for basketball training and that wasn’t our main focus so it always felt like work. Since that new man is a runner, I’m joining him in 2014 for a few though. I guess I’m a jogger right now.

    Since I started following you, you’ve done SO many runs! You are dedicated and it’s showing. All the best with this upcoming one.

    Super stoked that you’ve become fond of BODYPUMP.
    Joi @ Rx Fitness Lady recently posted…One Word for 2014: BALANCEMy Profile

    1. Hope@DefiningHope Post author

      Running fast feels like work to me…but a steady not too fast pace is so enjoyable. So glad you’re gonna get to join the mister on the pavement. That’s gonna be fun..or maybe it’ll feel like work 😉

      Thank you so much Joi. I have done a lot of runs last year and totally enjoyed the process. I’m excited about kicking it up a notch. Definitely think I feel like a stronger runner because of bodypump.

  4. Carla

    I’m going to have to go with wogger! My coach has told me too just to push through and keep running but I haven’t quite made it there. I can do it outside but on the treadmill it’s just so darn hard! I’m not sure that I’ll hit an 11 minute mile (yeah for you!) by my first half but I’m hoping by October I’ll be there.
    Carla recently posted…Fran Drescher, Vin Diesel, and a WorkoutMy Profile

    1. Hope@DefiningHope Post author

      You’ll get there Carla (listen to me, like I’m some fastie lol). I totally feel you on the “dreadmill”. It’s so much harder for me to run on it. i love running outside.
      Thanks Carla. You are totally gonna rock that half in October!

  5. Joy

    I absolutely love how you came to increase your speed, because I know it isn’t easy to do when you have a comfortable pace. I struggle with speed myself. But then again if I was 50lbs lighter I wouldn’t have that problem at all, lol.

    1. Hope@DefiningHope Post author

      Thanks Joy. It wasn’t easy to get faster but it’s so easy to fall off track…and I still have such a long way to go. I’m proud of all the effort you’re making too.

  6. The Dose of Reality

    WOW!!! This is SO VERY INSPIRING, Hope! I love the journey you’ve been on with your running (first wogging–I love that term). It makes me realize that we really DO have the power to change just about every area in our lives if we set our minds to the task. We really can. You are amazing!!!!! I really needed to read this post and hear this message this morning. It’s heaven sent. Thank you!!! –Lisa

  7. Rum Punch Drunk

    I’m not able to run at the moment due to health issues but I was the one who would run at top speed from the offset like someone was chasing me until I almost collapsed. I just don’t like the slow stuff. I’ve never had any running training, I just went out and did it or should I call it fast jogging?
    I use to do spinning a few years ago, and I loved every minute of it. All that rave music had me dancing on that bike. What fun it was.

    All the best for your race ahead. You’ll do that 11 min/mile with no probs. Go Girl.
    Rum Punch Drunk recently posted…You Poor Thing!My Profile

    1. Hope@DefiningHope Post author

      Thank you so much RPD. I totally laughed out loud imaging you starting out so fast until you’re all I’ve done that a few times and gave up because I couldn’t recover to keep going. I love spinning too, but my behind is trying to enjoy it as well :)

  8. Pingback: Why you no Zumba? | Defining Hope

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