My Saturday morning run was postponed to cheer Cole on at his swim meet. Plan B was to run Saturday evening. Plan B got pushed back by an endless task list that has been ignored for far too long. Plan C was to run Sunday morning. Plan C got pushed back by a baby who was constipated and decided to play (and try to poop) from midnight until 3am. Although my husband was a saint and took over the playing duties, I slept right through my 6am start time. On to plan D since Christian had to work today.
Plan D: Run when the husband gets home.
Around 4:30pm, I headed out the door with Alex by my side. I planned on running two loops. One with the dog and one solo. I also knew I’d need to pick up lights after loop 1 since the sun would be setting.
Speaking of Plan D, my marathon training plan for the week doesn’t even earn a letter except for maybe a F for fail. It fell off the priority list after Tuesday. Being home all week with Chet and not having a weather shield for the stroller prevented me from running during the day. Swim practice prevented evening runs. Life happens and we move on. After not running all week, my legs were eager to run today.
My first few miles were in the 9s and progressively getting faster. I knew I was starting too fast for a long run. I needed to be in the 10s. But my legs wanted 9s so I just kept going. I figured I had a pit stop at the halfway mark. I could regroup and replan for the back half of my run when I dropped off the dog. When I arrived at my house, I had just ran a 9:21 mile.
I left Alex at home. I grabbed my headlamp and reflective vest (since it was now dark out), and I head out for five more miles. Having just ran five miles in the 9s, I wanted to see if I could run 10 with an overall pace of 9:xx. It is, after all, my next half marathon goal. I picked a new route for the back half of my run and headed towards our town center. I figured the energy of everyone who was out on a Sunday night would help push me forward. I ran past couples out on dates and plenty of people sitting by bars in the windows. People were lining up to see a performance at our local theater. I definitely felt their energy – Mile 7, 9:11 pace.
I headed back home for one final loop to Thalia Island, and I knew I just needed to hang on. I was feeling every step of that 9:11 minute mile. My legs were ready for a break. I was also running straight into a head wind that picked up at some point on my run. My miles started to slow down. At mile 9, I glanced at my watch. 9:55 mile. Slower, but still in the 9s! I just needed to make it home.
And I did. I arrived back at my house with 10.13 on my garmin. 1:36:56. 9:34 pace.
I have never run a long run in the 9s.
Something is shifting in my running. While I do feel like I’m getting stronger and that I’m finally seeing the results of nearly a year of consistent training since having Chet, I think my confidence is finally catching up. I think my brain is finally starting to listen to my body. At mile 1, I doubted that I could hold onto 9s for all 10 of my miles today. At mile 7, I knew I had it in me. At mile 10, I was tired and breathing heavy and smiling from ear to ear. Running my speedy 10k a few weeks ago really showed me that I need to trust my legs. As I sit on my couch post run, I’m excited about my running. I’m thrilled by my progress. I’m eager to tackle more. If I ran this pace for 13.1 miles, I’d run a 2:05ish half marathon. I know on race day, I could find 3.1 more miles in my legs.
I’m ready to tackle week 4 of training with my Plan A schedule. And I promise to listen to and to trust my body.