SPEED THROUGH IT // WORKING THE PROCESS
Finally, everything comes together perfectly for my 4 and 5 milers this week!
Well, there were some questionable song choices…but that’s just what happens when you put your entire musical library on shuffle. Heard ‘Cry Pretty’ by Carrie Underwood during both runs and didn’t even shed a single tear. #WINNING. All jokes aside, I could not be any happier or more proud of how well both today’s run (5 miles) and yesterday’s run (4 miles) went. It just does not get any better than this folks. So, let’s take a look at what it’s like to run really super fast, without completely falling apart mentally and physically.
Weather is a pretty significant factor (at least in my mind and experience) when it comes to running fast time. So, clearly, that was a huge factor these past few runs. No wind or rain to contend with this week. And, it’s actually not been bone chillingly cold either. I would also say that the first mile (or two in super long runs) is what really sets the tone for how the remainder of the miles are going to go. Take Tuesday’s 4 mile run for example, I started out at a 9:08 pace and then basically hovered between a 9:10 and 9:20 pace for the rest of the run.
In addition, even though I don’t run up a million hills every day like I used to…your approach to hills can make or break you time and mentality. And, if you’re anything like me, you probably find yourself getting super anxious or exhausted many, many blocks before you’re even gotten to said hills. Somehow, (probably the Halloween magic that’s in the air) I completely avoided this during my four mile run this week. My slowest mile (with the dreaded mini hill) was a 9:22.
I always find it incredibly helpful to remind myself mid run to, “RUN LIKE YOU KNOW WHAT YOU’RE DOING.”
Aka: use good form, don’t let a super slow/depressing song slow your time down, and for the love of God don’t fall flat on your face and injure yourself. The hard thing about running with “good form” though, is that it take extra effort. Extra awareness of your body and how you’re feeling physically. Which, isn’t exactly conducive to zoning out, day dreaming, or lip syncing along when you favorite song comes on. I didn’t ever actually make the conscious decision during these two runs to pay close attention to form…it just sorta happened.
Looking back, I would guess that it came out of not wanting to fall again and from just getting tired/needing to run more efficiently. I even caught myself really lengthening my strides out in the middle of a run, and thought, “OMG who am I?” Anyhow, of these two speedy runs, I am obviously most proud of today’s 5 miler. Mainly, because I ran my fastest 5 mile time since AUGUST FREAKING 6TH….AND THAT RUN WAS ON THE DREADMILL. Funny thing is, once I got those first few miles in and was starting lap 2…I was dragging some serious ass.
I just felt like I had gone out to fast. My legs weren’t feeling nearly as fresh as I wanted them to. And, I was having some breathing issues. Not like serious issues, but like chocking on your own saliva issues. Which could all be solved if I would just swallow my pride and run with my mouth open (like a dog) for the entirety of my runs. As I progressed through that second lap (miles 2-3.5ish) I did what I knew would work for me: run with good form and be overly positive. I told myself that I was doing great, that I felt great, and that I was running fast.
Sometimes, running smart really does pay off, even if it sucks and you just want to jump back into 40 mile weeks.
That’s right, I said it. 1. I really, really was/maybe still am in dire need of reduced mileage weeks…week’s where I have a consistent mileage schedule and sometime take more than 1 rest day; and 2. I miss my 40-50 mile weeks. Granted, I only actually had 1 50 mile week and it completely destroyed my hips…but I want to get back there sooner rather than later. I realize that running 5 miles in 47 minute flat (average mile pace of 9:24) is not that big of a deal to most people…especially if you are not a fan of running. But, for me, that’s a huge accomplishment and has got me wanted to completely ditch my bi-weekly 3 miler for more 4, 5, or 6 milers.
I am well aware that we are only 2 months post pelvic injury and I still cannot do decline sit ups fully or regular push ups without pain. It’s an issue that I am working my best to resolve with a ton of core work 5-6 times a week. And, I hate core work so…I clearly need/want to get back to my old weekly mileage/running however fracking far I want to. I am mentally ready. Like, I so could have gone for longer pretty much all week this week with all of my runs. But, I have been so set on prioritizing recovery over mileage for the past 2 months. So, making that leap of faith does come with some consequences and a whole lotta anxiety.
My current thoughts on the issues: New month, new goals, new mileage. I really only want to change those two 3 milers to something else. My Monday three miler could go up to a 5…and my Friday three miler up to a 4. That’s only adding an extra 4 miles to my weekly mileage, which has hovered near the 30 mile mark on week’s that I’m running 6 days. So, next week…IT’S ON. Provided I don’t mess up any body part during the rest of this week’s runs and do okay during my long, LONG run on Sunday. Goal? Get up to 40 miles a week by the end of November.