BACK TO THE BASICS
Because, let's face it, going from 0 miles all the way back up to 7 is a battle (both mentally and physically).
And there really wasn't any part of me that foresaw running that distance this morning. Heck, grabbing a gel didn't even cross my mind either. I was just eager to get out on the pavement and see what my body could do. However, with little traffic and a cool 55 degree temperature with a nice cool breeze...it's really no surprise that I wanted to push the envelope with this run.
Despite these ideal running conditions, there were definitely some tough moments this morning.
I started off strong, and admittedly took off a little bit fast. I was happy to not being running in the grueling heat and humidity for once. And despite still battling some discomfort (NOT TO BE CONFUSED WITH PAIN) post injury...I felt pretty good physically. Yeah, I had yet again failed to do any stretching/foam rolling post workout Friday or yesterday. And icing my legs to prep for today's run had completely slipped my mind as well. But, I was still excited to take advantage of this freaking perfect running weather.
My first major hill during lap 1 went SO SO GOOD.
This could have something to do with the fact that my injury is finally sort of getting better or even the fact that I had a rest day yesterday. In my mind, it had everything to do with the fact that 'Daddy Issues' by Demi Lovato was blaring through my ear buds at the right time. I was jamming out so hard that I totally forgot about how much I hate running up hill or how much my legs were struggling to make the climb. Things only went up from there during that first lap. It wasn't even 10 minutes later and I saw 3 adorable doggies walking around their front yard...AND YOU BETTER BELIEVE I WAS ALL SMILES + WAVING LIKE CRAZY AT THEM.
By the time Lap 2 had gotten underway, I found myself switching from let's run as fast as possible to...let's run as efficiently as possible.
Which, is a tough switch to make when you take into account just how much fun running fast is...especially on those super duper steep downhills!! Anyhow, now it was all about running tall, really utilizing my "big arms" to propel me forward, and finding a pace that was comfortably hard. Oh, and falling back in love with the pain that goes along with distance running. And lip syncing every lyric to 'Sorry Not Sorry' by Demi Lovato even though it completely fucks up your breathing and overall ability to run efficiently.
At the 4-5 mile mark, I had finally caught my second wind. I knew I was in it for the long haul today.
I felt like I was running on air. Like I could run and run for forever at this point. I wasn't getting overheated or super exhausted like I have been lately. Yeah, the sweat was starting to blind me at this point...but I really did not feel like it was hot enough for a #sportsbrasquad run today. The worst part of lap 3 was for sure climbing the min hill to cross the rail road tracks. It felt like I spent a good hour just tip toeing up that hill...trying my very best to smile through the pain and struggle.
Mile 7 felt like a victory lap of sorts. Like I was saying a big F*** you to my injury.
Because, despite taking three days off and still dealing with some pain here and there...I did it. I ran 7 freaking miles at 9:43 pace and had an absolute ball doing it. What's more, I actually felt like I had a few more miles in me when I hit stop on my Garmin Forerunner and checked my splits as I walked back to the gym. And not let's just run one more step miles either...but good quality miles. Fast miles. And that's something I wasn't sure I would ever get back to. I guess this is what you get when you take the time/energy to focus on form instead of just zoning out for your entire run!