Sunday, June 9, 2013

back at 8.

Today (Saturday, June 8) I had a great run!!! But REALLY great run.

Not too fast, not too slow...just wonderful.

It was my first 8 mile run since my last half marathon in December. What was I feeling in anticipation for this run? Nerves, doubt, anxiety. Although 8 miles isn't a lot compared to what the majority of longer-distance runners run, for me and my beginner experience, I know that 8 miles is enough time for hurt, exhaustion, aches to creep in and make those miles miserable.

One very special difference to this run (and the obvious reason it was so great) was that this good-looking guy followed me around...

I didn't take any walking breaks to impress him :)

It was lots of fun having my hubby ride as I ran. He has taken quite a long break from running, trying to heal some major plantar fasciitis, but he joined me on 3 miles of trails jogging yesterday and his foot held up pretty well. But this morning he assisted me. Cutest waterboy I could ever ask for! But beyond having some eye candy the whole 8 miles, it was so comforting having him there. He would ride ahead of me, then ride back, talk a bit, look for dolphins, and repeat. I was totally blessed having him with me and am certain him being there with me helped me have such as great run.

I have learned that each run we go on is unique and shouldn't be compared too much to other runs. Yes, we always want to improve on time. We run the same loop regularly to see if we have gotten faster, stronger, better. But even running the on the same path, at the same time of day, in the same weather conditions, still does not set you up for an identical run. I have run these 8 miles many times before. Usually its a good run, a few times I have been miserable, but today was just right. Can't tell you what it was (other than having hubby with me!), but it was just great from start to finish. A new day, a new run. 

I did experience my usual sluggishness and achy knees the first 4 miles...but I already know this will happen. I am prepared at the beginning of the run to expect painful aches in both my knees and just an overall sluggish body. I just keep going. Ignore the little voice reminding me how much my knee hurts and how much I would rather cut the run short and get home sooner. When I first started running, this little voice was hard to overcome. Now, it is easier to ignore. 

I usually try to "get lost" in my surrounding. I don't run with music...(I actually find running with music to be very distracting, in a bad way) I tend to look around a lot. On this route, I see a lot of ocean. I look for dolphins. They remind my of my little K. She loves dolphins. One of her many career aspirations is to be a "dolphin trainer/doctor/lover". So I search for dolphins...and I always find one! I think of my little K and say a prayer for her.

After mile 4, I am LOVING my run!

I feel like I could go forever. Runner's high, I love you! But this is where I tend to always get off track. I start run too hard and before I know it, I am feeling like this...

Today, when I was at the half way point, I remembered this picture and told myself that TODAY I was going to feel strong right to the end...and I did.

Sorry, couldn't resist. Had to take a pic with this cutie!

Miles 5, 6, 7 and 8 were each faster than the mile before. All 8 miles were under 10 minutes, which is good for me, especially considering this is my first longer run in 6 months, post-injury. I ran my little heart out until my watch marked 8 miles. DONE!!! Feeling awesome!.

So happy to be back at 8 and feeling great!

Yesterday's 3 miles of hills were tough...this is definitely something I need to focus on. Hills!!!

Tomorrow, I'm talking off from training. Need to hit the office for a few hours to get a head start on the week...this way I don't miss any training during week 3! 

Happy Sunday to you.

Oh, and we met this guy too. Corporate world employee turned surfing goatman...he was totally awesome!

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