THE "PERFECT" RUN
7 blissful pain free miles at a decently fast pace.
This is honestly the best overall quality long run I have had since getting sidelined by this pelvic injury. Heck, it's the longest I have physically been able to run since June 8th...my last 7 mile run. And, TODAY'S WAS EVEN FASTER AND WAY MORE BAD ASS. Probably because 7 miles is the freaking farthest I have ran in just my sports bra and it felt good. Like, hello it's me. I know I don't have the perfect body, and I'm damn sure not the leanest I've ever been...BUT I AM STRONG AF SO WATCH OUT WORLD. Oh, and three cheers for doing it all sans running gel and while trying to avoid seeing my ex. Because, that's one gaurenteed way to ruin a perfect run.
So, what does a perfect run look like?!?
Well, for me at least, it all starts with figuring out how to pace myself during lap one (aka the first 2.5 ish miles). If you can get through that first lap with still a decent amount of energy/pep left...you're off to a fantastic start. Today, things went a bit faster than normal due to some unforeseen motivation from a dog who apparently decided I wasn't going quite fast enough through his neighborhood. Basically, this ended up causing miles 1-3 to be ran at 9:20 to 9:25 pace...BUT AT LEAST THERE WAS NO PAIN OR DOG BITES OR SLIPPING ON THE MUDDY SIDEWALKS.
Another component to make your run picture perfect, would have to be the right playlist of songs...that obviously come on at the right time when you need that little bit of motivation to go those extra miles or ramp up your speed. For me, there were several of those songs this morning. One that really stood out to me, was Something Bad by Taylor Swift. It came on at the 6 mile mark right after I was able to get back to running after being temporarily delayed by a train. AND BOY DID THAT PUMP ME UP TO RUN MY FINAL MILE AT 9:45 PACE.
Maintaining a positive attitude and good form when you're tired is also so damn important if you really want your run to be an excellent one. And it's a lot harder than it looks, trust me. Especially when you're really not sure if your body is up to running 7 miles and you're literally just trying to stay on your feet and avoid spraining an ankle. Positive self-talk helps a lot with this. And of course lip syncing to the really good parts of the bad ass songs when they come blaring through your ear buds. And reminding yourself why you're out their pounding the pavement and voluntarily choosing to enjoy the struggle.
The "why" for me has always been something that is never constant. There isn't one specific thing that is the predominant reason for why I run. Yeah, if you're an avid reader of this blog you're probably thinking we know it's your therapy and also your addiction. Oh, and you can't forget about the confidence boost running gives you, even if it's just for a short while. But, there's an endless list of why's...a list that continues to grow the more miles I get under my belt. Now that my best friend is stationed in Texas for the foreseeable future with the Army...I just remind myself when things get tough and I want to quit that I am running for her. That why was a huge help today at around the 4-5 mile mark when getting to 7 miles felt IMPOSSIBLE.
The final piece of the puzzle. Not the distance or the time or the weather or how many cute dogs you saw. Although all of those things are important. And can certainly make a run more enjoyable.
Running in a sports bra. And not even noticing it anymore or having to think twice about it. I never thought I would be that person or that runner...but here we are. Originally, it was just a way to stay cool and avoid having to stop mid run to take my shirt off. I joked offhandedly about not wanting to get heat stroke while I ran. Now, it just feels natural. Like I've been doing it throughout my whole running journey and, for the most part at least, if people are staring...I don't seem to notice. I'm to focused on making sure everything else is falling together so I can have a perfect run.
Finally, after what feels like an eternity, running is starting to feel good again. Rewarding. Effortless. Like it "should" feel. I had my doubts there for awhile, but I think I should have more than enough time to get ready for my half in September, despite having to take that time off. Barring any more injuries...sports bra squad shall take on the big bad 13.1 in Cedar Rapids. Yup. Cause the only thing scarier than running your first half marathon solo is doing it in a sports bra. Perfection at it's finest!