July 29, 2014

July 29

Total time: 14:31
Total distance: 1.01 miles

Impulsively signed up for a 5K for this Saturday, because yolo I guess, but it was one I wanted to do last year but it didn't quite work out for whatever reason. Therefore I have decided to take it kind of easy for the rest of the week.

I also ended up with a rather sizable blister after Sunday's epic 4-mile run, which started to curse loudly at me after about a half mile. It's the first time I've gotten a blister since I've had these shoes/my fancy running socks. So that's a bit concerning. Hope I don't need new shoes. I'm really quite fond of these.

July 27, 2014

July 27

Total time: 1:03:46
Total distance: 4 miles

I ran for an hour. AN HOUR. The longest I've ever run in my life. Just to see if I could. Because it was a beautiful night. Because I was feeling too good to stop. 

And also because eventually I will need to be able to struggle through a 10K, which is another 2.2 miles on top of this. Slow and steady wins the race, right? (I've taken to occasionally mumbling "turtle power" to myself because I am a weirdo.)

July 23, 2014

July 23

Total time: 30 minutes
Total distance: 2 miles

I had the unsettling realization a couple days ago that I was at T-Minus 2 Months until the 10K that I was signed up for. (And T-Minus 2 Months+2 Days until I turned thirty... which is another significant milestone which really has nothing to do with running, other than that next year I will get bumped up into a new age bracket in all my races.) Did I mention that I signed up for a 10K? In Seattle? That was now only two months away??

Cue: panic.

So, I did the only thing I could do: I laced up my shoes and pulled on my new ridiculously bright patterned capris (see lower right image) and out the door I went. This was to be both an "inventory run" (taking stock of where I'm at) and a "let's see how far I can actually go." I'm terrible at following any sort of actual training plan, for reasons that baffle me a little bit. I mean, I'm one of those people that has to have a recipe when I'm in the kitchen. I like having a plan. But instead, it's sort of just turned into "run as far as you can... and then run father than that next time, and so on..." Which I suppose isn't the worst way to do things, but it's definitely not ideal.

At any rate, my last run was my kick-ass best-pace-of-2014 mile. Which, if memory serves, was hard. I hurt the next day. On the one hand, it felt good, and on the other... my "fast" pace of this year was my "average" pace from last year. But I've always tried to focus on distance and endurance rather than speed, because speed will never be my forte.

My goal was to run two miles. To see if I could. I've only done it once this year. Part of me wondered if I should go for three if I made it through two, but I scaled it back into something a little less daunting.

My pace was slow - slower, even, than when I did intervals - but I did it. I kept moving until I reached two miles and then I stopped with a slight bit of sadness and a "maybe I should have kept going..." which, to me, is the indicator of a good run.

The whole time, the 10K was on my mind. I've never attempted that distance before... never, ever thought I could. I ran four miles last year, twice, and usually once I get past the sluggish middle between a mile and a half and two miles, I can keep slogging along. I started to do the math - the longest I'd run was 55 minutes (4.2 miles) - so it would take me a little over an hour to run five, but that was back when I was running faster. Is 1:30 reasonable for a 10K? I have no idea. It would be approximately 15 minutes per mile, which, at the pace I'm running these days, is a pretty valid goal.... I only get slower as I go. However, as I mentioned before, my interval pace is faster than my all-running pace (grr) so maybe it would behoove me to do intervals if I want to hit a certain goal time?

Ah, who am I kidding? My goal is to finish. Preferably running, but if I have to walk, then I walk. I'll do the best I can when the time comes. I'm trying something that is wildly out of my comfort zone so even if I flub it up, well, hey, at least I tried.

July 10, 2014

July 10

Total time: 22 minutes
Total distance: 1.47 miles

Yesterday was perfect for a run. It was an uncharacteristically cool day for July, somewhere in the 70s with no humidity to speak of. Unfortunately, I was so exhausted that I was pretty sure I'd collapse in a pile of tears if I tried to do anything... and then I ended up passing out cold for three hours (I woke up in exactly the same position I'd laid down in, which is unusual for me. I toss and turn like crazy.)

Mother Nature sighed, and was nice enough to give me another nice day today, similar to yesterday, perhaps better, with a vaguely cloudy sky. Trying to work up the motivation to get out there was hard. Last year it had become such a habit that I would automatically head out the door when I got home, but this year... obviously, that hasn't been the case. I tried to remember why I liked running, the feeling of my feet hitting the pavement. It sort of piqued my interest. I think the final push out the door was receiving a text message essentially asking me to cancel my plans for Saturday because someone assumed I'd be able to help out with a thing. This ongoing lack of respect for my schedule got rather under my skin and I decided to go vent my frustration outside.

I took off at an unsustainably fast (for me) pace. And it felt amazing. Normally I slow myself down after that first burst but today I decided to let it ride and keep it going until I couldn't. I'd only been out once since May's Dam to Dam, and that last run was a pretty feeble effort, so I didn't really expect much. But I merrily plodded along, surprising myself with each minute I continued. I hit the half-mile mark at 6:00, which was putting me on pace for a 12:00 mile - something I'd only done a couple times at the peak of the summer last year. The prospect of running a 2014 PR mile excited me, so I kept pushing myself. Some slow-down was inevitable, but I was hoping to complete the mile in under 13 minutes. (So far this year, I've only run one mile that was under 14, so shaving another minute off of that seemed - well, not impossible, but definitely hard).

It felt good to push myself. Up until now, I'd been pushing myself to finish, or to go as long as I could, maybe just another minute or two... I'd never tried to push myself at a faster pace, or to beat a time. That was new. But once it was in my head, I couldn't let up. I had to at least try. (Because playing little games like this - trying to reach various milestones - is how I keep myself going, how I keep myself inspired).

I finished the mile at 12:50. Not my fastest ever, but my fastest this year, and a lot closer to my average pace from last year. (You know, when I was running about three times a week.) Looking back at my 5K from Memorial Day when I broke 14 minutes, turns out... I ran it in 13:50. So I beat my time by a full minute. Excuse me while I high-five myself.

After that, I kind of walked for a bit, jogged a little here and there, without an end goal in mind, so I kind of just hit the end of the trail and stopped. So that was a little anti-climactic, but whatever. I DID GOOD!