MAN! This mornings run was good. When my dog went off at 5:00 AM (yes, I said dog, because, why would he let me sleep for 15 additional amazing minutes????), I’ll admit, I didn’t want to roll out of bed. As I removed myself from my comfortable spot, nestled next to Josh, I thought, there are so many perfectly fantastic excuses I could throw at Allison, get out of this and go back to sleep. But the better part of me, the part that needs to learn discipline, said: no, you are doing this now, that way you have no excuse not to wear real pants today. FINE! I’ll run and wear real pants. FINE! The last month, I have just not been able to get out of bed early enough to get my run done. I’ve been very lazy. I really want to get back on a cycle where I get up three-four days during the week and just get it done. No dickin’ around. The ride over to Allison’s house is always nice, it’s about 20 minutes and it gives me time to process that I’m awake and that my body is going to actually have to do something. I put on my favorite music, usually some Talking Heads and I wake myself up via blasting music into my face. It’s wonderful.
On today’s ride all I could think of was: how fast are we going to go today? My legs are still a little blown out from Boston, but we’re only doing 4 so I should be fine. But Allison’s been talking about all of her really fast runs, I hope I can keep up. I wish I had a donut. I’m pretty hungry.
You get the point.
By the time I arrived at her house and saw her smiling face, which greets me every morning when we run together, no matter how early, the sun was shining and the weather was damn near perfect. And, once we started running, I was just feeling it. I put my shoulders down, I let my arms glide and I tried to relax. These are all things I do when I’m ready to kick it into gear. Now, I realize that my “high gear” is a slow gear for most but I’ll take what I can get. Last year, around this time, I was running in the 10’20” range. I had just emerged from a winter of so-so running and was moving at a glacial pace. It took me all spring and summer to get my pace down to the 9’30” range, until finally, in November, I pulled the Colt State half marathon out of my bum in exactly 2 hours, I think that might be 9’15” average. So this morning, when I glanced at my watch upon completion, I wasn’t disappointed at all. I was quite happy actually: 9’18” average over 4 miles, with multiple shoe lace stops included (without stopping the watch!) and one horrid mile long up hill climb back to Allison’s house.
To me, starting Spring training with this pace already just opens up the possibility that I could actually accomplish my speed goals for the summer/fall races I have planned. I know that there is a capping out point with my heart, I can’t go trying to race at 7 minute miles but I would really like to get back into the 8’s. That would be my perfect spot. I just want to get and stay there. This won’t come free, I know that. I have to do the work. But I’m actually SO excited for it. Looking at my training plan I designed for my first summer race, I just became so elated at the shorter distances. It’s refreshing to not see that many double digit numbers inside the little excel sheet blocks. My plan is to keep the long runs between 8-10 miles all summer long, so that if I want to just hop into a half marathon at any point, I can and do shorter races in between as I feel like it. My real goal race is the BAA 10K in June.
After the marathon, I had a bla week of running. I just was not feeling it. So this was just what I needed. I was sweaty. I was hot. I felt like I really laid it out there. And, I was with a great friend. You can’t ask for more than that. Happy Monday everyone!