Thursday, August 16, 2018

A Run Worth Analyzing

Thursday evening I hit a little milestone post-surgery: I completed my third 4-mile run of the week, bringing my miles to 12 before I even reached the weekend. It's my longest mileage week of recovery!

But that's not why I want to analyze this run. I want to remember how it felt.

I ran the first two miles with Elizabeth, who is about 23 weeks pregnant, and the last two alone. For the first mile, we stuck together. We kept a very easy pace of about 9:51. I felt like my body had shifted into its perfect gear; I could have kept at that pace forever and never needed a rest.
We took a brief walk break at a mile and took a photo, then ran the second mile nice and easy. Including the walk at the beginning, our average pace was 10:21, which is much closer to the pace we tend to run together these days. Little Pudge is getting to be a burden for Elizabeth.
At the two mile mark, Elizabeth dropped back as planned and I continued on my own. We agreed that I would just finish my run without looping back to check on her at all, and she'd meet me at the end.

My third mile and fourth miles were fast. There were times I saw 9:10 or faster on my watch. I took a brief walk at the end of mile 3, more because I wanted to than that I needed it, and by the end of mile 4 I was so desperate to finish strong that I was scared to slow down for fear I'd end up walking again. I finished the last quarter mile at a sprint, running sub-9.
It was like my legs had a mind of their own. They felt amazing and strong. It was humid and gross out, and my breathing was ragged, but it's been worse.

I felt like I was transcending something.

And I had to stop and think after this run, because lately I've been so sure that summer has sapped me of all my speed and strength, and back-to-school stress has sapped me of my motivation and energy. But tonight I saw that everything is still there. It's just been resting a bit as I acclimate.

I've been slow lately because of the combination of summer, work, and having a pregnant running buddy, and pace has been one major factor in my reluctance to build distance right now. In fact, I spent some of our run tonight lamenting over my disinterest in running a half marathon anytime soon and yet not wanting to miss the opportunity this winter - I don't want to wait another year to run a half!
I ran this route three times this week, and felt stronger and faster each time.
By the time I finished this run, I realized that maybe I am ready to build distance after all, because I felt it all fall into place again.

As Elizabeth and I adjust our plans to fit both our needs as her pregnancy continues, I'll have the opportunity to build my own schedule and work in long runs. The only thing holding me back is myself. The good news is that I think they're finally starting to really fall away.



  1. I'm so glad everything fell into place and you got some clarity about what your body is ready for!

    1. Me too! Sometimes I feel like the mental journey is just as hard as the physical.

  2. Elizabeth is in the "glow" stage :)

  3. I'm glad you had a great run! It definitely looks like you're ready to add more distance. You got this!