RUNNING IN CIRCLES // 5 MILES TAKE TWO
I cannot tell you how good it feels to finally be running in running tights again…even though it’s not cold out yet!
The mosquitoes are just super bad and also am trying to speed up fall/the cooler temperatures. I knew today’s run was going to be a good run from the very start. First, I convinced myself that playing my music on shuffle (instead of the same old playlist over and over again) would actually make my run more fun, go by a lot faster, and for sure motivate me to run super duper fast…even when I really didn’t feel like it or just wanted to give up. So, naturally the first song that plays when it hit shuffle is ‘Beautiful Soul’ by Jesse McCartney.
And, instantly it took me back to late last fall/early November+December running in the freezing cold temps. I remembered how great running felt back then, fast times were effortless, hills were no biggie, and injury prevention was the absolute last thing on my mind. Oh, but I was still running most runs listening to the same playlist over and over again, and this song just so happened to be on that playlist from so long ago. So, I like had to take off and make my first run this morning super fast.
For awhile, everything felt perfect. I was running “fast” but like it didn’t feel like THAT much of an effort. And, for once, it didn’t seem like the humidity was an issue.
Obviously, that euphoric feeling didn’t last super long…because before I knew it I was at the dreaded stretch where I usually see my deer friends and really regretting starting out so fast. Also, regretting how much of Lady A’s song “I don’t think about you” I had sung along to just a few blocks earlier. Still, I remained positive and told myself how much fun it was going to be to run this entire loop/circle again…and try to do it faster. SOUNDS LIKE AN ABSOLUTE BLAST…RIGHT?
Anyhow, thank god for good music. Because it didn’t seem nearly as fun as I though it would to run in circle by the start of lap 2. I was all like, OMG HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO BE MOTIVATED WHEN I’M JUST RUNNING DOWN THE SAME STREETS/PAST THE SAME HOUSES SO SOON?!? That’s when ‘Slow Dance in a Parking Lot” by Jordan Davis came blaring through my ear bud. This was just what I needed. Another song off that famed playlist from so many months ago, back when running seemed easy, even through the bitter cold and icy sidewalks.
By now, you’re probably wondering why on earth I’m already running 5 miles again since I just ran that distance on Sunday.
Well, for starter, I AM MY OWN COACH AND IT’S BECAUSE I SAID SO. In all seriousness, this whole running while rehabbing from injury thing has been one big experiment. Which, need I remind y’all has been pretty successful so far. The main goal was to “build up mileage slowly”, so that’s what I’ve been doing. I go from 3 to 4 to 5…and then back down again (at least this week). Then, every Sunday I increase the distance of my long run by 1 mile…so my goal is 6 miles this Sunday. I’ve pretty much got in down to a science…I just don’t know what will happen when I decide that I’m over the 3’s and 4’s.
Speaking of being over things, I am still not over the dreaded min hill. Like, I legit hope, pray, and cross all of my fingers/toes simultaneously ever time I am running up the four lane that there will be a train and I will get a break at the top of the hill. So, when there wasn’t a train this morning, I took matters into my own hands. I just stopped when I got across the tracks, up the second mini hill, and onto main street. I was 3.72 miles in and really starting to feel done. Like, yeah I know I have to/will run the rest of the 1.28 miles..but I won’t do it well/strong without this quick 30 second break and mental pep talk.
It really, truly was a photo finish this morning.
I looked at my watch literally after every song, swearing that it was somehow malfunctioning because I HAD ALREADY RAN 5 MILES AND IT WAS TIME TO STOP. I also was extremely curious about how fast I was going, since I have been pretty focused on improving my times with each and every run. I ran in more circles that I probably should have, just trying to get the miles in without falling because I was now running without my glasses because they kept fogging up, oh and did I mention it was still pretty dark out?
When I was finally able to hit stop, I was very pleased and proud of my time/splits. I managed to shave a whole 7 seconds off Sunday’s average pace (9:43 today). AND…my final mile time was super super speedy at 9:18. YEAH. 5 miles isn’t really all that hard…bring on the 6’s and 7’s…as long as I get a gel break and a dear sighting at some point. Fun fact, I ran that last 1.28 miles listening to the same song (Record Year by Eric Church because it is my jam/theme song right now) over and over again. It was LIT.