Thursday, April 12, 2012

A Great Eight

My fast and furious 10K training calls for a weekly long, slow run. Last week, I set out for eight miles and it wasn't pretty. My legs were sore and tired from kettlebell the night before, it was warm and humid, and there was so much pollen in the air that my eyes started watering the moment I stepped out the door. I struggled to maintain a 10:00 minute per mile pace, and when my loop took me close enough to my house, I decided to quit while I was ahead. Six miles would have to suffice.

Much better.

Yesterday was my chance to redeem myself. Eight miles would happen, and I wouldn't give up, no matter how much I might want to. I learned a few lessons from last week and decided that kettlebell classes the night before a long run are a bad idea, and skipped. The weather yesterday was perfect for running - mid 50's, sunny, breezy, and most important - no humidity. I didn't bring any music with me, because sometimes my own thoughts are the best company, and I headed out at an easy pace.

Not only was I able to finish the eight miles, but my average pace was 9:35 - right on target! And best of all, I felt strong nearly the whole time. Sure, there were a few moments - mostly on hills - when I wanted to lay down and take a nap, but overall I felt great. I never seriously thought about cutting the run short, and at one point I even thought about pushing it to nine or ten, just because. (Thankfully, I came to my senses right around the 7.5 mark.)

I was really glad to get a solid long run under my belt. My running has been disappointing these last few weeks - shorter distances, inconsistent paces, and motivated more by a sense of duty than a love for the sport. I'm glad I stuck with it, though - I know it was those weeks of struggling that made yesterday's success all the sweeter. I finally feel like a runner again, and that's a good place to be.

9 comments:

  1. I've lost my running shoes. I hope to find them again. I'm struggling in that arena.

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    1. At least you are succeeding in other areas (IE, jumping rope and Paleo!)

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  2. I had to forsake my 6-10 mile runs (and/or 12 mile walks) a few time a week, many years ago. I tried keeping up with some marathon runners on a tune-up run when I was in shape, but those people were too fast for me with 26 consecutive 5 minute miles. You are looking good, though!

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    1. I can't even run ONE five minute mile. But that's okay - the middle of the pack is fine with me. :)

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  3. I don't think I've ever run 8 miles straight. You go, girl!

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    1. Anyone can do it if they stick with it and keep trying. I didn't run my first non-stop mile until three years ago. :)

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  4. Yay for a redeeming run! I had a horrible "long" run of 6 miles last week. I had eaten way too much food at a seder the night before and was bloated and uncomfortable the entire time. I'm really hoping that my long run this weekend goes a lot better and gives me lots of confidence for the half-marathon I have coming up early next month. I have 12 on the schedule.

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    1. Good luck on the 12 miler! Eating and drinking are probably the number one and two reasons I have bad running days. Unfortunately, I don't usually remember this until the middle of the run. ;)

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  5. Hurray for eight! I know what you mean about feeling dutybound rather than love for running, but I think our sense of duty can help us break through that barrier to find the love again. For example, I usually don't feel awesome during the first mile of my run, but if I can get past the warm-up, I can run happily and remember why I choose to stick with the sport. Good luck with your training!

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