It’s no longer a secret. My first couple weeks of half marathon training left something to be desired. Mainly: Motivation. But for the past two weeks it’s back! Last week I had one of the best training runs yet. One of those incredible training runs that make you smile ALL DAY LONG. One of those training runs that make you check your watch a million times because you just can’t believe it. 3.5 miles; 9:34 average mile pace; one mile in 8:50. I continued to ride the high from that run all day.
It is truly remarkable what can happen when you finally believe in yourself.
And maybe when others believe in you too!
This weekend’s long run took me through my hometown, two towns actually.
I somehow ended up at my old high school. I took a few pictures for old time sake and decided to head down to the track. Besides the timed mile, required for gym class, the only time I found myself on the track, I was in my cheerleader uniform, cheering for the football team. GO VIKINGS!
Today’s visit was different. I decided to run 400m on the track, channel my inner Allyson Felix and see what the track was all about.
To sum it up, it was AWESOME! I finished my 400m with a ridiculous smile on my face, completely out of breath, after already having covered more than 5 miles, and with an 8:30 mile pace. I MUST start incorporating track workouts into my weekly training. Who wants to come with me and teach me how it’s done?
After I finished up my journey down memory lane, I was off to finish the rest of my planned 8 or 9 mile run. The rest of this run was HARD. I went back to work this week and I could feel the effects of standing for 10 hours on Friday.
On my way home, I ran past my old elementary school. I, of course, stopped for one more picture and was ready to bang out the last mile of this run and head back home.
I decided to call it a day after 8 miles because my legs felt strong, but done. I am WAY ahead of schedule, mile wise, in my training for the Newport Half which gives me a bit of flexibility and a security blanket heading into the next 8 weeks of training.
I really enjoy running my long runs at home at my parent’s house. The combination of nostalgia, and the change of scenery from the concrete jungle, really makes the miles tick by.
After this great run, my brother made me a killer breakfast. Egg whites with turkey and cheddar cheese on a whole wheat English muffin. Another bonus of long runs at home. It was the perfect way to refuel after 8 miles. It was delicious and chock full of protein.
The plan for Sunday was a few recovery miles. I typically like to spin the day after a long run, but it is not always possible when I am away for the weekend. My brother told me on Saturday that he wanted to run with me on Sunday. I was SHOCKED! I ask him EVERY time I am home if he wants to run with me and the answer is always unequivocally, “no thank you.” You can imagine my pure elation at the idea of taking him along for a few miles with me. And, ready for this? He wanted to go to the TRACK! There are two high schools in our town and our “rival” high school (sorry, some things will never change) is actually closer to our house. He suggested running the mile over to the high school, run some laps around the track (he wanted to see what he was made of) and then run the mile back home. Sounded perfect to me. I figured we would run the mile there and back slowly and I could run a couple more slow miles around my new friend the track. Or so I thought.
After enjoying my first 400m, he wanted to run drills up and down the football field. Not exactly the “recovery” run I had in mind, but I don’t get many chances to run with him, so I accepted. After running back and forth to the 10 yard line and then the 20 yard line, he proclaimed, “Okay, I’m done!” WHAT? I couldn’t pass up the challenge and finished the entire football field worth of drills. I was tired.
I finished up another 400m and he said he was ready to head back home for our final mile. He would “follow me.” That lasted for about ½ mile. He surged ahead. Hello, RECOVERY run. Clearly he did not understand the concept. So, what’s a girl to do? Obviously, I sprinted to catch up to him, duh! My brother runs, MAYBE, 3 or 4 times a year and I’m going to let him beat me home? Absolutely not. I caught up to him and he said he was done and ready to sprint to the finish. I followed. We finished up sprinting to the “finish line” (the white stop sign line painted at the end of our street) at an 8:50 mile pace. Yeah, so much for a recovery run, but it was worth every second. I’m so proud of him.
I spent the rest of the day finishing my book, sipping iced coffee and feeling stronger and more confident than I did the week before. I suppose that’s the point of training after all.
Eight more weeks to go until the Newport Half Marathon!
Do you feel stronger and more confident each week of your training?
Do you have a favorite place to do your long run?
Do your siblings, family members, significant others run with you?
Do you want come with me to the track and teach me how it’s done?