Friday: Thoughts on Running
Hi friends! No food pics this morning—we ate out on Wednesday night with some friends, and had leftovers last night, so nothing much is going on here. But, we’re going to an outdoor concert tonight and bringing a picnic dinner, so I’m excited to come up with some fun stuff for that!
But, I decided to write a post anyway because…well, I’m up early and I have a full cup of coffee and no toddler to pull it out of my hands.
I thought I’d write a little more about my half-marathon training, and just…running in general.
I commented in an earlier post that I wanted to work on getting faster before the half, so that’s what I’ve been doing, mostly through sprint intervals and just PUSHING myself to run miles at a slightly faster pace than I’m used to. I think my “comfortable” pace is around 9:10-9:20, so I’ve been trying really hard to get under 9 minute miles for most of my mileage. I can do it—but it isn’t easy. So, I guess that’s the goal: run sub-9 minute miles that feel easy.
On Wednesday, I ran four miles:
They weren’t ALL sub-9 minute miles, but they were close, and my average pace was 8:45. I’ll take it!
On Thursday, I ran 6 miles, with two of them under 9 minutes:
The other four were much slower, so my average pace was 9:12. Not quite at my goal, but when I think back to the beginning of the summer when running six miles took me 1 hr. 4 minutes, and then 59 minutes, cutting down to almost 55 minutes feels pretty good.
In fact, I feel good about the progress I’ve made just in general during this training for the half. When I went on my first post-partum run, I was running (slash walking) about a twelve minute mile. That’s always been something that I’ve loved about running—if you’re willing to put in the time and effort, you can improve pretty vastly, pretty quickly. It’s really encouraging (as long as you stay injury-free, ha).
I’ve been trying to keep it all in that perspective—the perspective of, “Hey, look how far you’ve come!” rather than, “Man, I’m still not comfortable running a sub-9 minute mile. ” I try to focus on myself, rather than what I know others are doing. I have a friend who runs marathons and is training for her first ultra—she’s super-fast and super-strong, and at first I was embarrassed to even bring up the fact that I was training for a half. “She’ll think that’s so wussy!” I thought. But you know what? She didn’t at all…or if she did, she didn’t act like she thought it was wussy, haha. She was just excited that I was getting out there and running. I know it goes both ways, too. I have a friend on Facebook who is training for her very first 5k, and she wrote that she was a little embarrassed to post about being proud about the fact that she ran for five minutes straight with ease for the first time ever. When I saw her post, I thought—don’t be embarrassed about that!! That’s awesome!!
We’re all just running at our own pace—literally. There are always going to be people who are WAY faster than me. And there are probably always going to be people who are slower than me. Focusing on improving my own running is key, rather than constantly playing the comparison game with everyone else who runs. I guess in the end, the only person I really want to beat is…well, ME!
We should all just run in the way that makes us happy.
I’ve got ten miles to run at some point this weekend, and I’m not going to worry about speed. I’m just going to get out there, enjoy the run, and marvel at the fact that I’m running miles in the double-digits, when just two months ago, running four miles was difficult. Love that!