What has two thumbs and just took another ten seconds PER MILE off of her running pace? ME!
I can’t quite believe it. I wasn’t even going to go for a run…here’s what happened.
I’d had a good day, but I was tired. It was my girl’s birthday today and it had been a busy one. She also hasn’t been sleeping great, which means I have been feeling like a crazy person. Last night she slept through and I had to wake her up in the morning. I don’t know if this happens to you or just me, but when you finally get a good night’s sleep, the next day you feel heavier than any of those sleep deprived days. I felt better, but so so tired.
I decided at about 15:00 that I’d move my rest day to today, instead of Friday. After the Tough Mudder on Saturday, I’d taken Sunday off of training but kicked everything off on Monday. Starting with a T25 session a day, dead hangs, skipping and hula hooping. I am surprised I’m still tired after the TM and during my run, I figured out why I had been so stupid.
To combat my tiredness, I was eyeing up the fiery skittles on the kitchen side – I’ve never had them before and I was intrigued. I decided instead to go for a run. It was an impulsive thing and I figured that if I came back and drank wine, then that was like a freebie!
I changed, pulled my trainers on – still cleaner post Tough Mudder than before, especially now I’ve managed to get most of the grit out of the inside. Headphones in and a quick warm up and I trotted off up the hill.
I was half focussed on form and half mind wandering all over the place. I kept my weight slightly forward and landed on the ball of my feet each time. It felt slow, but comfortable and my knee was feeling absolutely zero pressure. Towards the end of the first mile, I started expecting the buzz on my watch for the first lap time. I looked down and it was 9:01. My first lap time for this run averages at 9:20.
I thought it must have been wrong, and heading up the next big hill, tried to stay calm. I got a bit flustered and managed to wrestle my jumper off – I’m behind on my laundry so wasn’t wearing my usual easily-removed zip-up top. My mind wandered again, keeping an eye on my form and trying to write a blog post for someone else in my head.
Down that hill and up the next one, the buzz went again. 9:01 AGAIN. At that point, I realised I’d not counted the Tough Mudder as training. I hadn’t even counted it as a workout really. Sure, I’d recorded it on my Garmin, but in my head it was worth nothing. I’d thought I’d basically had a rest week, torturing myself before I could start training for something else. The main point is: I was expecting to have lost fitness.
The penultimate downhill before the home stretch loomed in front of me. I started my sprint at the bottom of the last hill – I never do that. By the time I got to the top, I thought I was going to cry!
I opened up and ran for home. Pressed the finish button to stop the run and ran inside to sync with my phone. There were actual tears in my eyes. 9 minutes flat.
I wasn’t so much excited about the 9 minute pace – but the next run. The next run that I make progress in will start with an 8. And that there, is very exciting.
So how did I do it?
- I thought about my form and tried to keep it as clean as possible. As a result of this, I felt comfortable and not under pressure the whole way around. Which leads to…
- I was relaxed. This was a bonus run, I wasn’t expecting anything from it. I didn’t even try until the second mile.
- I’ve trained. This wasn’t one lucky run. I have been training for months and finally, I’m seeing some progress.
But I hate running – what do I do now that it’s becoming addictive?
Well, I carry on of course. It’s easily justified. It will help my climbing, especially if I can slim my legs down a bit. It will also help me with the next Tough Mudder which I think I may have agreed to today…