Wednesday, August 17, 2011

I'm sorry, Officer...was I speeding?

It's recap time! That means I should have been posting more often, but was busy running, eating, sleeping and generally being a waste of space. Oh, and working, which contributes to my desire to make the couch cushions as flat as possible on my off hours. I should mention that my work schedule is kind of weird. I work Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 6am to 7/8pm. Most days are physically, mentally and even emotionally tiring, sometimes exhausting, but I still have workouts to do after all of them. My speed workout is always on Thursdays, but it always ends up okay.

Anyway, Sunday was long run day! I had a 7 miler, which is the furthest I've run since 2009. I was dragging when I left the house. I just didn't feel like it. I had a lot to do later that day and I just wanted to get it over with. It's hard to feel like that when getting it over with is going to take 75-90 minutes!

It ended up being a great run. It was overcast and in the low 70s and felt like it could rain at any minute. I was a little disappointed it didn't. I ended up feeling really strong and ran what I felt was a good pace. I wasn't sure what that pace was until mile 6 because I got a little lost (haha...yeah...) and I didn't know where any of the other miles were. I actually had fun and it was a beautiful course. I ran along part of the Emerald Necklace (the BAA Half Marathon mentioned on the link is the one I am training for) and used Jamaica Pond as a loop to turn around and head back. I can't believe I had never run down to the pond before! You really forget you are in the city. There's dirt to run on! The sad part is that so much of the string of parks have been chopped up and separated that it's hard to follow them from one end to the other. I don't meant streets intersecting. I understand that it's necessary, but I'm talking about having to dart across four lanes of angry traffic on Rt 9 (Huntington Ave). Crosswalk? Pedestrian light? Not so much. There might be a crosswalk wayyyyy down at the next light, but I can't really see from where I emerge.

After making it across, I run over to a streetlight to re-tie my shoes (I'm a bit compulsive about how tightly my shoes are tied). I put my foot up on the base of a light post and notice a Boston Police cruiser had pulled up next to me waiting to turn and the guy is giving me a weeeird look. I'd like to thank my broken filter for allowing me to blurt out:

"I'm sorry, officer...was I SPEEEEEDING?!"

(smile...quizzical look...burst of laughter)

"Sheesh...what's so funny?!"

(shaking of the head...driving away)

I know, I blistering 10 minute miles are a lot to process...

Anywho...I finished mile 6 and saw I was just under 63 minutes. I was killing the 10K pace from last Sunday in a training run! I finished 7 at 1:15:43 and a 10:49 pace. My 10K pace was 11:07. Both courses were very hilly.

I point this out to give all of you beginners some encouragemet. I worked for SO LONG to run a sub 12 pace in a 5+ mile race. Last summer was the first time I did it with a 58:45 5 miler. I KILLED myself to take 15 seconds off my mile pace. As excited as I was to improve, I was highly discouraged at how little I got for the massive amount of work I put in. It was enough for me, for a very long time, to just finish the whole thing without walking (or even walking too much).

This summer has been a string of breakthroughs and I am still surprising myself. I think I'm surprised because I finally stopped worrying so much about it. Instead of running and running and hammering and hammering, I learned that I needed to get stronger, not just run more. I have never had a strength workout with my trainer where I haven't been at least a little sore the next day. She's pretty awesome. Not only does she know the perfect workouts to make me stronger and have a more balanced strength, but she catches tightness and possible injuries before I really know it's occurring. She is also so far into my head that she deserves an award. It's been crucial in getting me to do some pretty crazy workouts without me #1, realizing what's coming and #2, flipping the F out! I look back on that interval workout I wrote about in July as a major turning point. I left that day knowing something was very different. When I did my next run, I realized that I was freed from a suffocating case of doubt.

Monday was a strength and yoga day, that I did on my own since my trainer is out of town. I'll see her on Friday. Tuesday was a 4 miler that I did in 38:20!

Holy crap.

I was worrying about running anywhere in the 10s and I pulled out a 9:35 pace. My first mile was even an 8:56! I know the difference in my workouts compared to before, but this all feels a little out-of-body. I had a crazy, vivid dream about running an upcoming 5K in 28 minutes. I woke up so excited, thinking that I had really run that race. I was a bit deflated when I realized I hadn't.

Today I did the first 5K in about 29 (if it was an official race, I'd PR by 3:30). The first 3 miles I did in 28. I need to do another 5K soon. For some reason, with the shortest distance race I run, I get to the start line and turn into Choke-a-saurus Rex. I run 32s, 33s, 34s. I haven't tried a flat course since I started really having breakthroughs. It's time!

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