HURT SO GOOD
Because nobody said it would be easy. Or pain free. And life is WAY too short to settle for being average. So, with that in mind, I set out this morning at 4:15 to do three miles of speed work. Over the past several weeks, my paces have been improving steadily on these runs. I have almost grown accustomed to the pain that comes with running incredibly fast for the final mile of three miler. That feeling when you're not quite sure if you are going to be able to actually make it through that last mile. Or heck, even be able to stay on the damn treadmill.
WE KICKED ASS AND TOOK NAMES TODAY PEOPLE. MAJOR MENTAL & PHYSICAL BARRIERS WERE CRUSHED DURING THIS MORNINGS RUN. As I eased into that first half mile, I really found myself wanting to push the pace...despite the fact that yesterday's four miler was somewhat of a suck fest. That first treadmill run after a few days of running outside usually is. But, at the same time, these speed work days seem to be helping me run faster/stronger during my long runs...so I figured what the heck, let's see what I'm really capable of. Let's push those predefined limits and get as uncomfortable as possible without puking or falling.
Obviously, I deployed my typical tactic of pretending I was running anywhere but on a shitty treadmill in the dungeon at 4:37 a.m. Instead, I put myself back in my hometown in my element, minus the hills because YUCK. As I progressed, upping the speed by .2 every 1/2 mile I just kept telling myself, this isn't so bad. You can do this. Even if it takes pretending you have a billion people watching you, cheering you on, or just imagining that you're running with your best friend. YOU GOT THIS GIRL.
As I neared the 2 mile mark, and that dreaded last mile, the self-doubt and fear started to set in. I was really starting to feel it by this point. The sweat was literally pouring off me and my tank top was glued to me. I wasn't entirely sure that I would be able to run the paces I needed to for that last mile in order to beat the previous weeks PR of 26:52. My mind was strongly urging me to settle for holding onto my current pace. To just run steady for the remainder of my workout, to play it safe. To be okay with not getting any faster. To be average.
When I again upped the speed at the 2 mile mark, now running at 7 mph, I knew I would be devastated if I didn't go for a faster time. Failing was/is completely okay. What isn't okay, is not even trying. Throwing in the towel before even attempting to see what numbers I could put out. From mile 2 to mile 2.5 I upped the speed by .1 EVERY FREAKING TENTH OF A MILE. My eyes were focused on the treadmill screen the entire way. Reminding myself with every increase in speed that I could do it...that I was almost there.
That last 1/2 mile, the speed was upped by .2 every tenth of a mile at first and then for the last 1/4 of a miles, by .2 every .05 of a mile. Not quite sure if I worded that right. Basically starting at .75 I upped it by .2 then again at .80 and so on until the bitter end. By the end I was running at like 9 mph and struggling just to stay on the dreadmill. But, thankfully, I was able to make it through with out an disasterous falls!
So, what was my final time? Did I crush last weeks time? And did I actually manage to not pass out from sheer exhaustion once I staggered off the treadmill to write down my time? Well, I managed to complete 3 miles in 26 minutes and.........26 seconds! An average pace of 8:49....which I am so damn proud of! I just had to sit down for a few moments before it actually registered that I had ran that FAST. Sure, I was in pain during and after, but it was all worth it in the end to feel that sense of accomplishment. That utter disbelief at what my body is capable of.
I sure hope I can keep this momentum going for tomorrow's 5 miler...cause we all know how much I love doing long runs on the treadmill!