I wrote this post last night about an amazing evening training run I’d just finished, but because I don’t have internet at my new apartment yet, it had to wait until today to be published. :)
Tonight’s run was one of those runs where everything clicks. One of those runs where you remember why you endure those hot, sweaty, miserable runs. Where you remember why you suffer through boring miles on the dreadmill all winter long. Where you remember why you didn’t give it up after injury one hundred and one. Where you remember why you started running in the first place. One of those runs where you feel…ALIVE.
From the first mile I knew that my head was in the game. You know when you start a run and even if your body feels fine, you’re just not feeling mentally strong? That was the opposite of tonight. For no reason I was just ecstatic to be running. Everything I saw just made me more and more happy. Wildflowers, deer (!!!—super close, too!), other runners and cyclists, the sunset… I even embraced the hills on my route, thinking to myself, “Hills make me stronger,” at each one. I had one goal for this run—negative splits. I know I’m capable of running them—I usually keep a really steady pace and have energy at the end, but on my past few runs I’ve definitely been slowing down and losing energy at the end. So when I started out at an 11:20 average pace, I was nervous I wouldn’t be able to speed up much at the end. I kept telling myself to take it easy, but every time I looked at my garmin the average pace had gotten faster. After I finished 2.5 miles and was still feeling amazing, I realized that I had this run.
I tend to play it safe with running (and, to be completely honest, with life). Oh I push myself, but because my goals have always been about distance instead of speed, I tend to start out super slow and not really kick it into high gear until the very end of my runs. Today I realized that maybe I’ve been selling myself short. I’ll always be slow, but maybe I have it in me to be faster than I’ve thought. I finished my 5 miles in 54:19.25 with an average pace of 10:52/mi, a personal speed record for that distance. But the best part is that I still felt fabulous at the end. Fast runners, remember that my 5K PR involved an average pace of 10:12/mi, so 10:52/mi for 5 miles is a big deal for me even though I’m sure it sounds like I must have been CRAWLING to some of you. :)
I have been feeling so confident lately about running and my upcoming half marathon. The race is about 7 weeks away, and I’m feeling like I’m getting stronger every day. My muscles are healing. (Knock on wood…) My long runs are getting easier. My short runs are getting faster. I’m wondering how much of this improvement is actually because of this new confidence. Running is a mental game, that’s for sure. While my body physically still has some healing to do before 13.1 (IT bands, I’m talking about YOU!), my mind is READY. Tonight, I mostly just took in the gorgeous scenery during the run, but an unexpected mantra came to mind as they often do for me…
THIS IS IT.
This is it. This is the moment. This is the time. NOW is when we are going to get stronger and faster. Not tomorrow. Not next week. Not next training cycle for the next race. Today is the day that I’m going to be the best I can be. THIS moment. THIS run. THIS IS IT.
What memorable “this is it” run or workout have you had lately?