IT'S A "RUNDERFUL" LIFE
Yes, I needed to take a full 24 hours to come to term with the fact that I ran the slowest 8 miles of my life yesterday.
It was a very humbling experience, especially considering this run was slower than my first 8 mile attempt way back last late September/early October. The thing is, when I was in the middle of it and just taking things one block, one step at a time, it didn't really phase me just how slow I was running. I was just happy as can be to be running around with zero traffic, and MOST IMPORTANTLY zero pain. I made it a full 8 miles without anything hurting, and without any near falls/trips/etc. So, although it was not a perfect run, it was for sure a run (step) in the right direction.
In addition, I also had to face the stark reality that I ONLY ran 37.03 miles last week due to that one treadmill run on Monday. For me, this close to half marathon time, that was a little bit frustrating. Mainly because it is NOT I REPEAT NOT TIME TO TAPER YET. I have that shit all marked out on my calendar, so the fact that last week just had to be one of those not so great running weeks was a real pain. On the bright side, I was able to leg press 270 pounds yesterday following that 8 miler, so I guess I'm still getting stronger...even if my times aren't quite where I'd like them to be?! Either way, a year ago this time there is no way I would have been covering either 8 miles in one sitting or 37 miles over the course of the week, so cheers to that!
Thankfully, today's run was back to business as usual.
I told myself that I would push myself as hard as I could for my entire 5.6 mile route. No excuses, no succumbing to the heat, humidity, or that little voice in the back of my head telling me to slow down or ease up. It felt so great to be able to run fast, and not feel super out of breath or like I was going to puke/pass out/etc. Instead of just focusing on using my arms, I tried my best to focus on how my feet were hitting the pavement, and lengthening my strides. I also made sure to be super positive and into my mantras this morning. Which, I haven't done in a while because I thought it took too much effort in this sticky weather.
My pacing this morning was actually spot on for miles 1-3...WHICH NEVER HAPPENS. All of those mile were ran at 9:46 gap pace (aka just a fancy word for how Strava adjusts your splits based on elevation). Then, I did super awesome on mile 4 with a 9:37 pace!!! That is insane because that's usually where I fall apart/slow down because it always seems to take forever to go all the way down/around 11th street and get back to the four lane. Not today!! I just kept telling myself, "You can do this. You've got this. Look at how fast you're going, keep it up." Then, I had the perfect end to a perfect run with a final .60 miles ran at 9:16 pace.
No matter how good the splits are, or how much I overcome mentally, my favorite part of my runs will always be the people.
Which, is weird for someone as introverted and shy as myself. Even when I'm at my absolute worst and feeling like giving up, all it takes is seeing/waving at that one person I know to lift my spirits, and push me to give a little more, run a little faster, believe in myself. I don't care how out of breath I am, it will always be worth in to yell good morning at someone, especially when you haven't seen that person in a few weeks. I like knowing that I'm not alone in those whole running/half marathon training thing. Because, running by yourself is hard. The only person to really hold you accountable and make sure you give 100% is you. And some days, you just don't feel like putting in the work.
So, yesterdays run was a sluggish (but still very much effortful) 10:08 pace....while today's was a 9:44. I don't know what really happened between the time I finished that 8 miler and this morning, but somehow my legs recovered a whole lot. What does this mean for the remainder of training? Who knows. However, I did reward myself with 24 new songs today, so I am guessing tomorrow's run will be even more epic. A playlist chock full of both Kelly Clarkson and Maren Morris songs is sure to produce some stellar splits!