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.