7 MILE "FUN" RUN // SUNDAY FUNDAY
It’s not everyday that you hear someone say that they ran 7 miles at 5 in the morning in 27 degree weather…on a Sunday. For fun.
But, I’m not your average/normal person either. Although, I can say I’ve had my fair share of long runs this year that have absolutely sucked. Whether it was due to injury, lack of sleep, the weather conditions, or a whole lot of self doubt in myself and my running abilities. Today, however, was not one of those runs. Did everything go perfectly? No. Did I have a perfectly fun, enjoyable, and strong run? HECK YES I DID. Although it wasn’t 100% fun 100% of the time, it was certainly a run to be proud of…and a run worth blogging about (duh!).
For starters, I made the choice yesterday to do zero physical activity. Zero. No stretching or normal 3 mile walk like I usually do on my rest day. Just a day spent watching the latest season of ‘Making a Murder’ on Netflix and icing my legs. So, it’s not really too big of a surprise that my legs were the freshest they have been all week this morning. I took off, excited and happy to just be out pounding the pavement. A little disappointed that it wasn’t cold enough out to wear my Green Bay Packers light up hat, but ready to crush this 7 mile run.
The first 3 miles went by WAY faster than I anticipated they would.
I was running at a fairly consistent pace, and doing really good both physically and mentally. I was having the time of my life, jamming out and incredibly happy with how well my body was standing up to the cold weather. I was seriously considering waiting until like mile 4 or at least until I had climbed the mini hill to take my Clif energy gel. However, I convinced myself that it probably wasn’t the best idea to wait until then or get into the habit of taking a break at the top of that stupid hill every run. So, I opted to stop just short of the halfway point (3.3 miles in) to take a short break.
Well, that short break ended up lasting an entire song. First, I had to navigate opening my gel packet without taking my gloves off. Then I had to deal with the lovely sweat/snot combo that comes with running in the cold. Oh, and I obviously didn’t want to down my gel in one slurp and then feel super pukey for the remainder of my run. So, after that lengthy break, I had all sorts of energy. Like, oops I nearly tripped over this random tree branch on the sidewalk because I was running so fast energy.
By the time I had finally made it back to the gym, I still had another 2 miles left to go.
Internally, I did my best to convince myself that these last 2 miles would fly by. That, in the grand scheme of things, 2 miles really isn’t that far. Then again, knowing that I would have to do 2 big laps down the twisty trail wasn’t the most appealing thing in the world. Whatever. I just kept reminding myself that I hadn’t come this far to quit early, especially with such a short distance left to cover. The first lap, was a whole lot easier than the second I was flying down the road, around every twist and turn like it was nothing. Like I hadn’t already been running in circles for close to an hour.
Lap 2 down the twisty trail was a completely different story. It seemed to drag on forever. It also somehow seemed way darker than the first go around, and I was slowing down too. I found myself constantly checking my watch during that last lap. Just hoping to be a whole lot closer to the 7 mile mark than I actually was. I can remember running down a slight decline at the 6.8 mile mark, picking up speed, and feeling on top of the world. Like, I could probably handle another mile with no problem at all.
However, considering I ran 8 mile the past 2 Sunday, I figured 7 was far enough for today. Hitting that magical number and seeing a semi fast time felt fantastic. Like, all my hard work, low mileage weeks, and icing had finally paid off. I had only ran this distance once before post injury, and of course I didn’t know what the time was. I, naturally, assumed it just HAD to be a slower time than Today’s. So, when I found out that I had ran today’s 7 miles at 9:37 pace…I was over the mood happy. However, on September 30th I ran almost the exact same route almost a full minute faster.
I really don’t remember much about that first 7 miler or how I felt during it. Or after.
What I can say, is that I felt really good after today’s run. Nothing hurt. No sore throat or extreme fatigue. And, even better, I was able to PR on both Back Squats (185x1) and Front Squats (145x1). So although today’s run wasn’t a record breaker by any means, it was an absolute delight about 90% of the time. Which, as someone who has had a whole slew of bad/mentally draining runs over the years, is something to celebrate!