One of those runs…

…that reminded me why I love to run.  The truth is that I love to run like 95% of the time, but that other 5% can really drag me down.  Thankfully, there are the fantastic runs that stand out and remind me why I lace up my running shoes and hit the pavement.

In my typical Monday fashion, I felt lazy yesterday and opted not to run outside in the morning with Zain.  It was chilly and windy in the morning so running with the stroller didn’t sound appealing.  I planned to hit the treadmill during naptime for a 5 mile run.  Hubby decided to just work a half day and came home in time for me to go for a run.  I considered still running on the treadmill, but he told me to run outside because it was a pretty afternoon.  I’m glad I listened to him.

As I got ready to head out the door, I started to get excited to run – that honestly doesn’t always happen! I felt like my run had so much potential since it’s so rare that I do a training run during the week alone.  I was happy to take advantage of the fact that I didn’t have to push a 30lb toddler in a jogging stroller.

The 5 miles with 5 strides I had originally  planned to do sounded boring so I decided to give a tempo run a try.  The other tempo runs I’ve done were on the treadmill which felt very different from doing it outside.  I planned to warm up for a mile, run 5 miles at an 8:20-8:30 pace, cool down for a mile – 7 miles in total.  I know I can hit that pace, but I usually do it in the last mile or 2 of a run when I feel that it’s safe to use up the remainder of my energy.  I didn’t know if I was really capable of running that “fast” for 5 miles non-stop.

This is what happened:

Mile 1: 9:29 (warm up)
Mile 2: 8:39
Mile 3: 8:23
Mile 4: 8:33
Mile 5: 8:37
Mile 6: 8:18
Mile 7: 8:34 (cool down)

My cool down was faster that two of my tempo miles! After I finished mile 6, I consciously tried to slow down, but my pace didn’t really change much.  I must have tricked my legs into going faster that they usually like to go.

While I was running, I didn’t actually feel awesome.  I had eaten lunch too soon before I ran so I felt like I was teetering on the edge of the puke zone for most of the run.  I managed to push through that feeling.  My neighborhood is rather hilly so I had trouble maintaining a totally steady pace, but I did the best I could.

Looks like I might have sped up a little at the end there...

When I finished my run, I looked at my watch and saw I had run 7 miles in just over an hour.  I’ve never run that fast before.  I was so happy when I finished this run.  I kept thinking that I can’t wait to do another tempo run! Ya know what else is awesome about running fast? You cover the miles faster.  I know – duh! As I was running, I loved how the miles ticked by so quickly because I was moving faster than usual.

Sappy sidenote: I have the best hubby in the world.  He’s the reason I got to go for a solo run outside on a beautiful afternoon.  He wrote me a note to tell me how proud he was of me before he had to jet off to his grad class.  AND he made a donation to Team in Training for me yesterday morning which brought me to my fundraising minimum.  He’s my number one supporter.  I’m so lucky.

I know what you're thinking - my hubby has such nice handwriting :-)

It feels great to kick off the week with a great run.  An awesome run puts me in a much better mood and makes me feel optimistic about everything.  I’m ready to tackle a big week which will end with a 22 mile run on Saturday.  Bring it!

Have you had any awesome runs lately?

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