CHASING THAT HIGH // SPEEDING THINGS UP
Yesterday, I ran my fastest 4 mile run in nearly a month.
It wasn’t something I planned for or psyched myself up for…I just did it. I drug myself out of bed, laced up my tried and true Under Armour running shoes, and took off. I took off with no idea of how far I would go or how fast I would be able to run. All I knew, was that I was long overdue for the perfect run. The run that comes around once in a blue moon. The run that reminds you why you started running for “fun” at 4-5 a.m. in the first place. The run, that reignites that competitive spirit within you and pushes you to get comfortable with being uncomfortable.
During my first 1.5-2 mile loop, I could tell that things were going well. Actually, better than well. Things were going better than any of my other outdoor runs in 2019. The weather was perfect. My music was on point. And, I wasn’t distracted or overthinking things at all. I was just running and having the time of my life. Oddly enough, I wasn’t even super stressed or worried about how fast my first several miles had went. Which is usually number 1 on my list of things to panic about while running. It was like, finally after all the weeks and months of indoor/less than ideal runs, I finally had my groove back. Finally, felt genuinely happy to be doing my favorite activity during my absolute favorite time of day.
The closer I got to hitting the 4 mile mark, the faster I wanted to go.
And, the more I dreaded having to be done with what often times turns into a pretty productive therapy session. During the last half mile or so, I was constantly checking my watch, waiting impatiently for the moment when I would finally be able to see mys splits (and have actual proof that I was adjusting to and getting better at running outside). When I saw my splits, I was happy and also highly motivated to keep chipping away at my times. I took my 5 or 10 minutes to be super jazzed about my performance, but then it was back to figuring out how I could do better on my next run.
* Cue “Drunk Me” by Mitchell Tenpenny blaring through my ear buds accompanied by a little (eh a LOT) of wind.* That’s how today’s run started off. The perfect song paired with some not so great weather conditions. A little wind never hurt anybody…right?! Well, I’m only a fan of the wind when it’s at my back or 90 something degrees in the summer and I’m on the brink of heat exhaustion. Otherwise, it’s just another obstacle standing between my and the perfect run/running time/mile splits. And, yes, I did indeed use the wind as an excuse to “only” run 3 miles.
However, I still did everything in my power to make those 3 miles count. I ran hard, with good form, and even managed to blow myself away with just how well I was able to battle against the wind (even if I took a big ‘ol L by limiting myself to 3 measly miles!!). I mean, my first mile was an 8:54 and I never dropped below a 9:44 minute pace. Plus, I actually listened to my body for once,and didn’t push myself to run that extra 1/2 mile or so just because I thought I “needed” to. THIS WAS MY FASTEST 3 MILE RUN SINCE JANUARY 15TH and that is such an incredible feeling. Seeing all of my hard work and dedication (both all winter and now getting used to running outside again) actually pay off in such a big way is the best.
I’m not an idiot. I know that having two back to back nearly perfect runs isn’t the norm. I know that running won’t always be as enjoyable or progress filled as it has been lately. BUT, for me, it’s so crucial to celebrate these small victories so that I can become more confident as a runner and person. Also, it helps me remember that no matter how bad or difficult things get in the future, I’m literally only one good run away from extreme happiness and bliss. And, that’s what it’s all about.