I've learned a lot about myself in the past month! I know that sounds a but cliche, but it's true. I've had some of my best and some of my worst runs. I've learned how easy it is to give up when things aren't going right. I've learned how to push through the final miles of a long run at paces that I didn't think I was capable of in a short tempo. I've learned what it feels like to do well in a race. I've learned what it feels like to ... well, not finish a race. I've learned that I am a good runner but I've learned that I have to believe in myself and that it isn't always easy. Sometimes, you just have to dig deep, not give in and keep pushing! And, if you do all of that, you may just surprise yourself.
I slept in on Saturday - until 6AM. This meant that I had a solo 16 miler on my plate since everyone else met at 5:30AM. My schedule said: 4 easy, 4 at 8:20 pace, 4 easy, 4 at 8:00 pace. I knew I could do this. Afterall, I had run 15 last week at 7:49 average pace.
It wasn't easy.
I decided to start with my easy miles and to just see where they fell. They definitely weren't as fast as I wanted them to be ... but, we can't always pick our easy pace.
8:41 8:33 8:25 8:21
I kept it "easy" and the pace gradually dwindled itself down to the 8:20 range. The next task was to push. Even though my schedule said 8:20, I knew it meant goal pace. So, I just picked up to what felt like I was pushing a tad and ran. Of course, when I saw the first split, I just tried to keep it consistent for the next three.
8:01 7:59 7:55 7:55
It wasn't easy. But, I got through the last 7:55 by telling myself that I got to run the next 4 as easy as I wanted. When I got to miles 9-12, I told myself that I would only look at my Garmin every other song. This meant 6-8 minutes at a time withOUT looking! I'm so proud that I actually did this. I slowed down to what I thought was a 9:00+ pace, but I didn't care. My schedule said EASY! Shockingly, I felt good and easy wasn't quite that slow.
8:22 8:26 8:32 8:19
I was ready to be done, but I knew I had four more pace miles. These were all supposed to be 8:00. I wanted to only do two, but somehow I made myself push through all 4. The worse part was that I finished at my car before I had these 4, so I actually had to turn around, run 2 miles out and 2 miles back! I took a quick gel (my first of the day) along with a quick sip of water (my second of the run) and headed right back out.
7:52 7:53 7:36 7:13
It wasn't easy, but I learned how to finish strong. That 7:13 took a lot out of me, but I did it. I didn't give in to my mental weakness! I was soooo happy!
16 miles - 2:10:10 (8:08 average pace)!
45 miles for the week, though I've ran 60 in the past 7 days.
The rest of the weekend was enjoyed outside with great friends! Saturday, I went to the ribfest and Sunday to the Bucs vs. Panther game. Can't beat that!!