Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Last week I finished up my 3rd official week of Ĺ Marathon training. Iím using a modified 8 week program to prepare to run the ShamRockiní Half Marathon on March 11th . Itís coming up fast and Iím about 45 days out from the race. Part of me is wondering what Iíve gotten myself into and Iím sure Iíll be cursing myself on race day. But the other part of me knows that if I train well and trust in that training, I will be able to run this half with grace and dignity (I hope).
My long run for week 3 was 9 miles. I was supposed to run in on Sunday but due to weather and extreme laziness, I decided to post pone until Monday and hope for better weather. Monday started off with high winds and lots of rain but by the time I got off work, the sun was out and the wind had died down to almost nothing.
I got home as soon as I could and even though my Hubby had a friend visiting that I would have like to chat with, I quickly changed into my running gear and headed out the door. Hubbs friend thought it was pretty funny to see me in my running tights, reflective vest and headlamp but it was going to get dark before I finished my run and I needed to see and be seen. Safety first, right?
After a quick conversation about 5k times with Hubbs friend I headed out. I managed to get out the door at a very decent time of 5:15pm. It was still light, the temperature was 53degrees and the wind was very light and from the south. The run was good with no close calls with cars thanks to my reflective vest and headlamp. But the temperature was dropping. I ran 9.27 miles in 1:35:35 with an average pace of 10:19 which is fast for me. Long runs should be long and slow. I generally try to keep long runs at an average pace of 11:00/mile but with the temps dropping my body was picking up the pace just to keep warm. It didnít feel like a hard run and despite the average pace of 10:19 most of the miles were run at more at the 10:30 pace with a few fast ones to drag down the average, including mile 9 at a 10:00 pace. Trying to teach my muscles that they can kick despite being worn out.
By the time I finished, the temps had dropped to the mid-40ís. Despite the cold temperature, I know that I worked my body hard. My hair was completely sweaty from the roots to the ends. Even the backs of my hands were sweaty and I kept having to wipe them off on my shirt because they were freezing. I should have at least taken my gloves with me.
About mid run I had started thinking about how amazing it was that at 5 miles, I wasnít tired and I didnít feel discouraged knowing that I had 4 more to go. I was really enjoying my run. I felt good, no real aches or pains (after the first couple of miles, it takes a while for my body to work itself out). I also thought about when I started running again back in April, less than a year ago, how intimidated I was about running for 20 minutes straight. And now Iím running for 9 miles without a break. No walking needed and not feeling a desire to walk. Love that! The body is an amazing thing that can be taught new tricks.
This Sundayís long run is scheduled for 10 miles. 10 miles, people! Thatís a long way. I never thought I could run 10 miles but I can. I havenít yet but I know that I can. And Iím looking forward to it. The longer my distances get, the more I realize that I was born for distance running. Iím not fast, Iím working on getting faster, but I can run a long way. And I enjoy running a long way. Itís my time, for me. Itís the best investment Iíve ever made in myself. Because of running Iím a better wife, a better coworker, Iím happier, Iím more confident, Iím more patient. Iím even better at handling crisis. Running does a lot for me. My legs look amazing and from what I hear my butt looks better now at almost 36 then when I met my husband 10 years ago at 26. (Wow, 10 years with Hubbs, that blows my mind.)
I love my run and I hope that my love for this sport is something that never dies. I hope that Iím still running years from now. I hope that someday Iím that old lady in short shorts that you see at your 5k and you think, I can beat that old ladyÖand at the end of the 5k, youíre saying, I canít believe that I just got beat by that old lady! LOL