That thing you do

So the other week readers may recall I was feeling pretty down on my running. Things weren’t clicking. I was feeling slow. Weak. Pathetic. Tired. I was taking walk breaks when I really shouldn’t have been. I was letting hills get to me.

Last week? I turned that on its head.

A week ago Sunday, after much moaning and groaning and mumbling into the pillow, Nerdy Boyfriend finally dragged my sorry butt out of bed for our run. It was actually a decent day. A tiny bit warmer and a little bit brighter than usual. I had tracked a route up to a park we hadn’t tried before: Highland Park, which was just two miles form his apartment. So we donned our layers, took our shotblocks (and I stashed a Gu packet in my pocket) and off we went.

It started off pretty damn well. I was sporting a little crank for a bit that I took out on the sidewalk (I HATE this stupid ice look at all these stupid ice patches this is ridiculous I’m going to FALL ON MY FACE WHOA NB CAREFUL THERE SEE I told you the ice is evil!!) that blew up as we reached the park (at least it did in my head) before we discovered something lovely: a little loop around a reservoir. Near the end of a lap, NB wondered how long it was, and if it would be good for mile repeats, since it was flat, and a single loop. So I said: alrighty, let’s do another lap and I’ll let Gary the Garmin figure it out (this is when I realized I’d hit STOP when we were standing around trying to figure out where to go and didn’t restart it for a bit. Oops). Turns out it’s only three quarters of a mile, but still nice – if we ever have to do 1200m repeats, we know where to go! I took a Gu as we made the lap before realizing I was in chafe city and needed to get home… soon. So we headed back, feeling strong. We even got words of encouragement from a pedestrian, which made us both smile. Afterward it was shower and bagels, per usual.

And it was the beginning of a Great Running Week for me. Tuesday I intended to go out for three easy miles. I was feeling strong, and had set autolap on my Garmin and saw I was just a little shy of my half marathon goal pace (which isn’t fast. I would like to break two hours though). So I kicked it up a bit, which was helped by the long downhill on the second mile, and destroyed my goal pace. Third mile was just off pace, but I was faster than goal pace over all, and extremely happy with the result.

Thursday was bright and sunny (only a hint of what was to come, oh man) and I headed out with slightly fewer layers than usual, a new route in mind and an intention to listen to Wait wait Don’t Tell me (NPR) while I ran to test it out. I was (and am) way behind on the podcasts. I did a five-ish mile loop and only took one walk break, which was kind of pathetic, considering it was on a flat and then I kicked every hill’s ass, and some of them were pretty sizable. I felt great! I was back! I loved running again, and couldn’t have been happier about it.

This Sunday’s run was just as good. We started off conservatively, and took the longer loop in Highland Park, which is rolling hills, and really enjoyed the views. We ended up doing about 6.5 miles, and negative split, doing the last mile at goal pace. Rock.

I’ve always known I usually have to hit rock bottom to really get back into a groove. There just have to be days where I force myself out the door, just get the miles in, and keep on trucking. Or, as I read recently: (rule #5) harden the f$#k up. I might have to use that as my hill mantra – what do you think? Too negative?

I’m going out of town to visit my grandmom this weekend, and hope to get one run in. I’m stopping in Ohio on the way back (it’s a looong drive to where she is in Michigan) and will probably work from home Monday, and will run from there as well. BUT Monday is my first day of Pittsburgh half-marathon training, so get ready. I plan on posting at LEAST  weekly on my progress: a little about my plan, how the workouts went, my hopes and goals, mood, routes, music, anything that strikes me. So get ready. It’s ON.

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I'm a 35-year-old writer and runner. This is my running blog.

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