Friday, May 11, 2012

Back on the Wagon...Again

Hi, again. Yeah, I went to the NRA Show in St. Louis for work and it was simultaneously the most soul-crushing and career rejuvenating experience of my life.

I didn't run for 2 weeks.

Then I didn't really have the motivation to start back up.

Then Eric's sister rightly called me out on Twitter for being lazy.

Then I went for a run.

Then I didn't for another week.

Then I did.

And again.

And then yesterday I ran the fastest 3 miles of my life. Avg Pace: 12:46. That is pretty subpar when compared to even your average runner, but for me? It's pretty spectacular.

How it happened.

I left work with a goal of running 2 miles. The weather was absolutely perfect for a run, and it's not sticking around for long. When I got home, I puttered around for about 2 hours, waiting for the temps to drop just a little further. Right up until about 6:45 I was debating whether or not I still wanted to go. But something just clicked and I knew I had to run. Kate and I are running in a 5K next week, and I really want to keep up with her for as long as possible.

So, I got dressed, laced up my sneakers, and was out the door just before 7:00. I decided since the weather was incredible, it'd be a good time to try to run a little further than normal. My route was measured perfectly, 1.5 miles out and 1.5 miles back, exactly. My warm up is usually just walking to the gates of my community, and up the hill to the road (about 3-4 minutes). Once I started running, my body revolted for a few beats. It was as if it was saying "Hey. I thought we were done with this! What are you doing?" I made a deal with myself that if ran for a 1/2 mile, I could take a walking break for as long as I needed. Made the 1/2 mile mark and I ended up walking for about a minute. Ran another 1/4 ish mile, and started cramping up. Let myself walk for a little while longer, and then I ran the rest of the 1.5 miles. It was somewhat hilly, but I started feeling really good. I told myself I could walk again after I got to the turning point, but once I was there, I felt like I could keep going. It was down hill for a good tenth of a mile or so, but I'd say I ran maybe another 1/2 mile before my next walking break. Walked for about 30 seconds, ran to the next stoplight. Turned onto the road back to my apartment, and walked for a moment. As I was running the final stretch to my apartment, I started to feel a little tired. It was weird - I wasn't out of breath and my legs weren't hurting. I just wanted to stop. So instead I pushed harder. There's a spot about 100 feet from the entrance of the complex where I usually grab my phone to stop the timer. All I wanted to see was a number less than 39. I wanted my avg pace to be less than 13 minutes. I've run a few 5Ks in the past and never come in under 42 minutes, so I knew 39 might be a challenge. But I grabbed my phone from my arm, looked down and saw 37! So a bolted. Ran as fast as my legs could carry me, and stopped right as the timer hit 38.

I'm not a speed demon, but damn. That felt fantastic. It's a personal achievement that I'm incredibly proud of. It makes me want to work harder, run faster, and go for longer. Last night was very exciting for me, and I'm hoping it just carries me to bigger and better goals.

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