FASTER THAN EVER
Run number 4 post injury went FANFREAKINGTASTIC.
I'm talking record breaking 2-4 mile times and even having a super duper fast final mile to end my 6 mile run this morning. All this came as quite a surprise...considering how tough yesterday's 8 miler was. In addition, those super fast 9:03 miles actually felt more like 10 minute pace at times. I kid you not when I say there were moments in transition between laps 2 & 3 (aka miles 2.5 and 3) that I legit felt like I was running through peanut butter. Like, no matter how hard I pushed or how much I emphasized moving my arms, I just was NOT getting any faster.
So, the question still remains...Is it the music, a high pain tolerance, or am I actually finally healing from this random pelvic injury?!?
Just based off of today's run, it felt like a combination of the right songs playing at the right time and definitely a higher pain tolerance. Because, the pain was definitely there...and pretty intense. But, I was just so determined to have a good, fast, shortish run that I didn't let a little (or a lot) of pain get in the way of that. And in those moments of doubt, when I wasn't sure whether I could hold the pace or felt like all eyes were on me for some random reason...I reminded myself of what it feels like to not be "good enough." To feel like, at the end of the day, you could have given more. More effort. Pushed past your predefined limits.
Essentially, I flashed back to February when things were definitely not going according to plan in my personal life...and my confidence was at an all time low.
Now, I'm not saying that as I type this post today that my confidence has like quadrupled or anything since that time. Because, even all these years post weight loss/on this fitness journey, I still struggle daily with body image issues. What I'm saying is, that I have grown so much as person and a runner when I hit what I would essentially call rock bottom in terms of confidence issues all those months ago. I know that I am stronger than I have ever been RIGHT NOW. And, that it is absolutely necessary that I push myself past my limits from time to time (run to run, workout to workout) in order to keep getting stronger. To get to a place where I can love the skin that I'm in and not give a shit about what anyone else thinks.
And in a lot of ways, physical strength does equal mental/emotional strength.
Seeing how much my fitness/body has changed since I switched to lifting 6 times a week back in November and started half training in March has obviously made me stronger physically. There's no doubt about that. But, simultaneously, it has also change the way I see myself. How I deal with stress/anxiety. I am finally, after so SO MANY years able to see myself as an athlete. As someone who thrives on constantly beating there body down, only to build it back up day in and day out. Someone who can workout/run in literally anything (from sports bra and shorts to a million layers of coldgear and everything in between) and in any conditions. I can not only feel/see my strength physically...but also emotionally as well.
Sure, the times I'm put up today are nothing compared to the times I was running last fall...but I'm not the same person I was last fall.
I have evolved into someone who fits fitness into their life rather than having their entire life revolve around fitness. I have lost approximately 20ish pounds since then, and as a result my body takes an extra beating every time I lace up to hit the pavement. But, for the first time in awhile, I'm getting back to that place where pushing myself feels second nature. Like, on paper the times see impossibly fast, but while I'm actually mid-run...they feel comfortable hard. Not at all as impossible as they felt just a short time ago.
So, here I am. Running my fastest 6 mile time since the end of February. Average pace: 9:26.
Mile Splits: 9:38, 9:03, 9:03, 9:25, 9:51, and 9:26. All while climbing 5 hills and having to watch out for traffic and oh yeah TRYING TO NOT FALL FLAT ON MY FACE. To say I am proud of those times would be the understatement of the century. For once, half marathon training is not kicking my butt. I'm kicking back. HARD.