Today marks the third Saturday in a row that I went out for a run. That marks my best Saturday running streak in a while. It also marks two weeks of running at least three times each week. At this point in the month, I am just shy of 60 miles. Which is almost the sum total of the last two months put together. As I went out this morning, I really wasn’t expecting much. I realized as I got up this morning that I wasn’t limping – which is always a good thing.
I drove down to the park and started running. Immediately I recognized that nothing hurt and that my gait was normal instead of broken. My steps were regular instead of some syncopated running beat – this too is a good thing – and not at all like the last few runs. After the first 200 meters, I noticed I was feeling good and I told myself to slow down – it seemed I was going out a little too fast. The next 400 meters of the run is uphill and has more than once – of late – beat me. I was determined to beat the hill today, so I slowed down just a little. This was a good strategy, because I made it to the top and my chest wasn’t burning and my leg felt really good. At the peak of the hill, I began to push and made it to the 1 mile mark just over 9 minutes. At this point all I wanted to do was sustain that pace. At the end of the first lap of the park, which is 1.36 miles, I looked at my watch and it was 12:15 – one of the best laps in a long time. I did some calculations and was determined to finish it in 49 minutes. That would require 3 more laps of the same intensity. What I began noticing is that the running did not feel forced today – it was all feeling really natural. I’m glad I persevered through these last two weeks, because I believe I am on a new track.
With each mile that passed, I hit that 9:00/mile mark and each lap was near the 12:15 mark. I missed looking at my watch at the 4 mile mark and at the 5 mile mark, I was just over a 9:00/mile. I picked up the pace over that last .44 miles and finished at a 49:01 – one second over my goal that I established on lap one! This was one of my best five mile runs in a year. My next goal is to get this five miler under 48 minutes. The other goal I have this week is to run take my long run 6 laps at Gypsy Hill Park – that would be just over 8 miles. The other good thing about this run today is it was one of the first times of late that I felt I could go further – that hasn’t happened much of late and I’ve been happy to be done.
My ultimate goal is to get back to where I was in the fall of 2012 and spring of 2013. I think with continued training through the spring and summer, I can get there. For not I continue to Press On!