Mostly this week, I tried to push myself with speed. I have NO PLANS at all to run this half at some sort of amazing race pace. My only plan is to cross the finish line with my dignity intact, and if that involves moving slow as can be to maintain my energy, that is what I plan to do. That said, I do have huge issues with pushing through when I'm tired or out of breath or feeling like I just don't want to run anymore. The second anything starts to feel at all difficult, I back way off. I think there is something to be said for no pain, no gain, so I just wanted to see if I was capable of more.
I really didn't want to head out Monday. I was more tired than usual and my calves felt tight from Saturday's twelve mile run. And also, I just wanted to sit on the couch, so with that in mind, I pushed hard. I had a stitch in my side and I felt like I was gasping, but I finished a 5k in 28 minutes with a 9:14 average pace. This is fast (for me)!
And then Tuesday and its stupid 40 mph winds came along. Tuesday was gorgeous. I ran in short sleeves. I really appreciated feeling the warm sun. I did not appreciate the ridiculously strong, coming from every direction winds. It was a long, slow five mile run. Forget about pushing myself or keeping a fast pace--it was all I could do to not just give up and walk this entire thing. But I finished and that's the important part.
Thursday was another three mile run. I mapped out a route while at work, then started out. I quickly ended up mixed in with a group of students walking home from school, and I honestly could not think of a worse group of running partners. Suffice to say, I hightailed it in the opposite direction and ended up doing an out and back. In my haste to get away from the students, I ran my first mile in 8:54. And then I collapsed and died. Or would have collapsed and died, had I not slowed my second mile down to 10:20 in an attempt to begin breathing again. Although I clearly couldn't maintain it, 8:54 is much faster than I ever thought I could run a mile!
Because last week was such a long run, this week's long run was not really so long--only six miles. I knew that Shane would be gone all day today, so I decided to get it done Friday night as soon as he got home from work. Words cannot describe how much I did not want to do this. My first two miles went pretty smoothly, and then I hit an open area that is always like a wind tunnel. I'm not sure why. Even on days that aren't windy (at least, I think so... I swear, it's been about four months since I last had a non-windy run), this area seems to be breezy. So on a windy day, forget it. I usually just give up and walk for a portion, because struggling into a strong wind isn't worth it. My pace dropped to 10:40 for this portion, but I picked it back up as soon as I was out of the wind. I finished in a little under an hour, with a 9:58 pace. Although not a technical sub-hour 10k, because I stopped at 6.02 miles, it definitely gives me hope that I could run a sub-hour 10k someday!
Three weeks until the half! I'm not sure if I'm more nervous or excited.