Sunday, September 2, 2012

Awesome Training Run

Gosh, I love this meme.  It never gets old for me, I laugh each time I look at that little girl's face.  (Can I also finally admit that I have been pronouncing meme as 'me me' until just recently?  How embarrassing is that?)

I am quite sure that the reason I find it so funny is that it is based in truth.  I am not one of those few people who look good running.  I sweat.  A lot.  I turn red.  Very much.  I hunch over like someone who should be ringing a bell in a tower somewhere.  Overall, it is not pretty.  But I take comfort that I am not alone.

I check out anyone I see running or jogging.  And there are few of us who look great doing it.  There are some very awkward running forms out there.  Yet,  I admire anyone who is out there making the effort.

However, yesterday, yes, yesterday, I had an awesome run.  In fact, I am quite sure that the following is true:

I had grown concerned that I wasn't getting enough mileage in for my upcoming half marathon.  Between my daughter's soccer and youngest son's football starting in early August and my work and their school starting last week, I was not getting in any longer runs.  This week, I drove home from work and threw on shorts and shoes, grabbed the dog and headed out for some very fast 3 mile runs.  I knew I needed to be back in time for the bus.  One night, the dog and I were able to get a 4 mile trail run done when by chance, my daughter and son's practices overlapped.  I know that once my oldest son, Conor, starts back at the dojo this week, my time is going to be more likely spent in the van going back and forth between there and the practice fields, rather than on a running trail.  

So yesterday, I headed out for a 10 miler.  I figured if I could do it, adrenaline on race day would get me the other 3 miles without an issue.  The weather yesterday was perfect.  Sunny, in the lower 70's, and a very slight breeze.  I strapped on my iPhone, hit play on the playlist I had made up recently, hit record on Mapmyrun and off I went.  

At first, my achilles seemed to refuse to loosen up.  This is a chronic issue for me the past year.  It tends to swell to twice its normal size and look like a big, red marble.  I did PT for two months last year, but as soon as I started running again, it reflares.  I've done some online research and spent a lot of time in runner's blogs.  There seems to be a feeling in the runner's world that continuing to run may build up scar tissue, which in the end, will actually prevent a rupture.  And I am finding that the more I run, the less swelling and pain I have.  Fingers crossed!

Soon, after my second mile, I found my groove.  I stopped once to adjust the band holding my iPhone, but otherwise, I maintained my pace and before I knew it, I was knocking off one mile after another.  I did all 11 miles in less than an hour and forty minutes.  I averaged an 8:57 minute mile, even with the stop factored in.  

I'm thinking getting pulled along for 3 miles by my dog is the best speed work for me!  

While I am thrilled to know I will be okay on the 30th, and with the time I did it in and the form that I maintained, I am even happier to just get the miles done.  Because in the end that is what matters.

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