You guys, I had the BEST RUN yesterday.
Not the fastest or the furthest or anything remotely like that. I mean, I ran 4 miles in 37:01 -- as my "long run" for the week. At this time last year I'd have been sort of embarassed about that time. But not this year -- definitely not yesterday.
I've switched from my "usual" Runner's World training program (one short easy run, one tempo or speedwork run, and one long run) to Hal Higdon's novice plan.
That kind of thing isn't easy for me, since I've been running regularly for about 7 years now -- I'm not elite or anything, but I wouldn't consider myself a novice. But after a couple of weeks of my RW plan, I started noticing a pattern -- I was NOT looking forward to my runs. I was never sure if I'd be able to handle them, I was worried about injury, training was feeling like a job, and worst of all, I was really starting to regret registering for the Distance Run.
I really didn't want to admit it, but I had to: between my knee and hip injuries and my spring of basically zero training, I really wasn't at the level I was "pretending" to be at. I had made the mistake of plugging into the RW calculator some stats that I WANTED to be at (a recent race time of 2:00 for a half, for example, when I barely (BARELY!) finished Broad Street this year in the 1:47 range, and 11-15 mile weeks when I hadn't even cleared double digits for months) instead of where I REALLY was.
So I swallowed my pride, printed out Hal Higdon's twelve-week novice plan, and went with it.
And um, wow. You know, I had started to think of "just cover mileage" as kind of garbage runs. Just getting in miles for the sake of miles? What's that going to do? Certainly not make me faster. But duh...I don't need SPEED right now. It's OK if I run the same pace for every mile, because holy crap, I can barely get the miles in right now.
So anyway. This week called for a couple of two and three-milers throughout the week, plus a "long run" of four miles. My two and three-milers were as one would expect. Perfunctory, let's get it done and move on to lifting. But Sunday, I went for my "long run." I opted for the treadmill since it was pretty late in the morning (since I stayed in bed watching the Hills for two hours). First mile was nothing special. Second mile, I started to get a little bored and, as usual, found myself thinking about dropping out of training. After the third mile, I stopped very briefly to stretch my IT band and hip flexors, and then hopped back on.
I did my first three miles at 6.5mph, so I bumped it up to 6.7mph for mile 4. A couple of minutes into that mile, the magic started to happen. Oh my god -- ENDORPHINS! I had forgotten about those! I started smiling, and BIG -- I'm sure I looked like I had lost my mind. I was feeling invincible and I bumped the speed up to 7.0 at 3.5 miles, and did the final quarter mile at 7.5mph. I seriously felt like I was flying and I didn't want to stop...but hey, I'm listening to my training plan. So I stopped and stretched and smiled my big dumb grin and rocked out to my music.
I don't want to get too excited, since there's obviously a great chance that I'll have another exhausting crappy run or two this week...but it had been a LONG time since I remember feeling as amazing as I did on Sunday.
In other news, I STILL don't have my camera cord replaced. I went to Best Buy on Saturday and bought a card reader...for the wrong card format. DOH. I'm going to try to get out and get it exchanged this week, because I've got a ton of pictures to share and no way to get them uploaded!
How was everyone's weekend?