Solo Long Run

It’s pretty impressive that I’m almost done with the 3rd 1/2 training cycle and just now did a long run solo.  I have some awesome ladies in my life that run when pregnant, singe up for races at the drop of a hat, are up for a last minute text from me asking them to run, and are happy to ride in the stroller which means I don’t run truly alone very much.

Eleanor would have joined me for 9 today, but a friend gave her their registration for You Go Girl because they were too sick to run.  We were both running at the same time, just not together.  She is awesome…hasn’t run more than 10 miles in months and knocked out an awesome, only in my dreams, 1/2 time!

9 miles were on the schedule for this weekend, and due to Mark’s work schedule this week/weekend and Bob hunting Michelle and I just couldn’t make it happen.  So I set out on my own. 

First let me just say that I did everything I could to talk myself out of doing this run.  I figured that since I wasn’t meeting anyone it wouldn’t matter if I didn’t show up, no one to let down.  EXEPT MYSELF!  Even after I got myself out the door and was in the car I almost turned around and bagged it.  But, I forced my foot to stay on the gas an keep driving. 

I almost called it a day in the parking lot because my tummy acted up, but thankfully I accounted for that possibility and picked a route with lot’s of potty break options.  I wasn’t done trying to get out of it there though.  After 2 miles I thought about turning around for a total of 4, which when added to the 5 I did Thursday would have given me the 9 I needed.  But, for some reason I just kept going. 

And you know what…I would have cheated myself of one of the best runs I have had in weeks!  It’s been really hard getting back into it since taking two weeks off for vacation.  Every run since then has hurt, felt hard, and I just haven’t been into it.  But something happened after about 4.5 miles today. 

I Did It! 
My normal average pace is 10:15 – 11 for long runs, so to hit 9:52 is super speedy for me!
Ultimately I needed this solo run.  I needed to prove to myself that I’m able to push myself and keep going because I wanted to, and not because I’m scared I’m going to let the person I’m running with down.  The first half of the run is rolling hills with one hard steep uphill, and one long not as steep, but still steep uphill and those miles were slower.  This is the taper after all and I didn’t want to kill my legs.  Once I made it to the 5 mile point though I knew I was home free.  My legs felt strong and I started dialing up the speed.  So irritated because the Garmin site is having issues and todays run is lost off my watch and the site, so I can’t see the actual splits.  IRRITATED!!!!  Glad I took a shot of the summary.
Even though I can’t post the splits to prove it every time I checked my pace the last 4 miles I was 8:15 to 8:45.  It felt hard, but it also felt amazing.  I kept looking at my watch to verify I was running as fast as I thought I was and was amazed and honestly really proud.  (I’m an average runner at best, most of the time 9:45 to 10:00 is fast for me, so to drop below that is hard work.)  I wanted to practice my finish line kick so at .5 to go I kicked it up even more to finish with a 8:10 pace for that last .5. I was literally yelling at myself, out loud for the world to hear, “Go, go, go”, “You got this”, “You can do this, push it girl, push it.”  Thankfully the thunder and lightning had started so I was totally alone.     
I totally felt like a real runner today.  I tend to feel that way on runs that I have to really work for.  Don’t get me wrong I love the “easy” runs that you coast through when your breathing and stride just fall into place.  But, when I have to fight for it mentally and physically it feels more legit, more hard core, like I really earned it. 
What I learned today is physically I’m able, my body is strong and capable.  It’s my mind that can F it all up.  I have to work on the mental game, and I guess today ultimately was a mental success because every time I thought about bagging it I quickly thought about why I should keep going.  Promising myself Starbucks if I did all 9 may have helped as well. 😉  
And, so this isn’t all about me…here is the cute Sky pic of the day…
 Rock Star training!
I have wanted to paint her nails for months.  It doesn’t hurt at all that she let Daddy do it.
Such a Daddies girl!  I love that he was willing to do it for her!


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