Yesterday I ran one of my best runs ever. The two biggest reasons why I'm proud of this run:
I ran 3 miles without a walk break. I don't think I've ever done that before. I run 3 miles all the time (that sounds so smug, doesn't it? ;), but usually I take a walk break to rest or drink water somewhere along the way. Yesterday I kept going for a solid 33 minutes. Sweet.
I ran 4 miles in under 44 minutes. And I had to work hard for it. The first 3 miles I alternated my speed between 10:56 and 11:04 min/mile. When I got tired, I backed down my speed to 11:04, which, even though it's a minor difference, seems to help. At 3 miles I took a water break and walked .05 miles. So my time was somewhere over 33 minutes when I started mile 4.
Since I ran the first 3 miles steady as she goes, I decided mile 4 would be a tempo mile. I started out with 2 minutes at 9:30 min/mile. Then ran 3 minutes at 12:00 min/mile. It hit me while I was recovering that if I ran 10s, I could probably finish 4 miles in 44 minutes. But as I ran and did the calculations in my head, I realized that 10 min. miles weren't going to get me that 44 minute finish. So I kicked it up to 9:30 and ran it out for the last .3ish miles. I don't remember exactly what my mileage was when I started the fast run, I just know it was longer than 2 minutes.
It was tough. My breathing was heavy and my heart was pounding. But that last tenth was golden. I steadied my breathing consciously and stopped the Monica Selas-like wheezing (I can get really loud on the treadmill when I'm pushing myself... thank goodness most people wear earphones and don't listen to me). I definitely had the inner dialogue going on--"You are strong, you are fast, you can do this. Beat this bitch down." Yes, sometimes I curse in my head at the treadmill, and it works like magic.
I hit stop as soon as 4.0 showed in red lights. And my time was 43:59.
P.S. Thank you all for indulging me with my running stories. I feel like a kid who's discovered the best super slide and highest swingset around. This sounds so corny, but running has changed my life. Not just because of the weight loss that it helped make happen, but because I feel so powerful and motivated and strong and free when I run. Those are feelings I've never felt consistently--ever--in my entire life. The coolest part is that I am a baby when it comes to this sport, a complete newbie. And that, God willing I stay healthy and injury free, I have a good 6 or 7 years ahead of me to improve before I reach my peak ("they" say it takes 7 years to become the best runner you can be).
So thank you, all you great blogging friends out there, for your encouragement and pats on the back and patience with my gushingingly sappy posts about running. I hope there are many more to come.