Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Week # 19

I was really surprised at how quickly my legs recovered after Saturday’s long run of 22 miles. I took an ice bath and a long nap, but I was out dancing in heels Saturday night! Of course, I was sore the next day, but not nearly as bad as I expected. That’s a good sign! And although my legs didn’t hurt, I was definitely tired and worn out. I couldn’t motivate myself to do much of anything over the next few days. I took Sunday off, and tried for an easy 5 miler on Monday on the treadmill. No such luck. After 2.5 miles I gave up. And I just couldn’t get motivated on Tuesday and Wednesday. Sad, I know. But it was taper time. Resting is more important now than running. It didn't take much to convince me that it was ok to skip a couple runs this week to make sure I was "well-rested." :)

The weather on Thursday was beautiful and I was determined to get a run in outside. I sat in my office all morning longing to go home and run. Finally, around 5:30 I bolted for my car and drove as fast as I could to get home and run. Traffic was horrible and it took me nearly an hour to get home, changed and out the door. I wanted to get in 6 miles before it got dark and Ryan started to worry. So I needed to kick it up a notch. After a few days of resting, I was finally ready to run.

There are some days, where the running gods align all the elements to create the "perfect run." This doesn’t happen often, but when it does, it makes up for all the hundreds of long miserable miles of not-so-great runs. These "perfect runs" are what keeps a runner coming back again and again, through the rain, sleet, snow, hail, ice, heat, and humidity. Perfect runs happen when all the conditions are just right: the right weather, the right time of day, the right distance, the right attitude, the right songs on the iPod. For that one run, everything is perfect.

I have had maybe 2 "perfect runs" in my three year running career. They are definitely few and far between. I’ve had lots of "good runs" and plenty of "not-so-great runs," but the "perfect run" is pretty elusive. It usually happens when you least expect it – when you’ve had to force your fat tired ass out the door nearly in tears because you just don’t want to run that day. So you can imagine my surprise when I began running on Thursday night to find that everything felt really good.

I’m not fast. But for some reason, I wanted to run fast. I’m usually pretty happy with consistent 10:30 minute miles. Anything faster is reserved for races. I decided to see how fast I could push myself for a new 5k time. Anything under 30 minutes would be great. Surprise surprise, 5k time was 28 minutes. I felt like I was flying. And I felt great, so I kept going. I turned my 6 mile run into a 10 mile run. At the 5 mile turn around point I noticed it starting to get dark, so I picked up the pace again. I had no idea if or for how long I could keep up this pace. I figured I would crash somewhere around mile 7. But I just kept going. I repeated Rhonda’s mantra – I am fast, I am strong – over and over in my head. By the time I got back to the house, I was convinced…I was FAST…I was STRONG. It was a perfect run!



My mile splits:
1 - 9:30
2 - 9:20
3 - 9:03
4 - 9:10
5 - 9:15
6 - 8:57
7 - 8:51
8 - 8:40
9 - 9:05
10 - 8:57


Weekly recap:

Monday: 2.5 miles
Thursday: 10.5
Saturday: 12.0

Total: 25.0 miles

3 comments:

  1. Great description of the quality range of runs and the ever-elusive "perfect run". I think I've only had one that I can think of. Most of my runs these days are the "endure the pain in your leg till it subsides so you can run" type runs. :)

    Now, I'm very proud of how well and fast you did on your 10 miler this past week, however the tapering wisdom that I've read says to guard against the urge to "bust a run" during your tapering. They must preach this for some good reason cause I've read it in a couple of different articles. Just being "big-brotherly" in wanted to keep you good and healthy for your marathon. ;-)

    Again, great week Sara. I can't begin to tell you what an inspiration you've been to me in my own running. Thank you for your encouragement on my blog as well. I sincerely appreciate it.

    Keep up the confidence because you ARE strong and you ARE fast, and be smart in the next week and a half. You're gonna do fabulous. :)

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  2. I was just looking at your split times again... DANG! Good, bad, or not... that was a phenominal run girl!

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  3. That was an amazing 10 miler! And negative splits to boot!

    I hear tapering can make you crazy - here you just ramped up your running for 16 weeks and now you need to bring it down a few notches. Let me know how you're feeling as the taper goes as I'll be going through that craziness in a month.

    Also - thanks for the snail mail thank you note. It was not necessary of you to do that but such a nice touch. We should all be thanking YOU for running for such a great cause!

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