This week, here's how it has gone thus far:
What I Did:
Monday: Ran FIVE (5!!) Miles (on an indoor track. That equals 35 laps.)
Tuesday: Shoveled Snow. Strength Training (weights at home).
Wednesday: Shoveled Snow. (notice a trend??)
Thursday: Ran 3 Miles at or above race pace. (21 laps at the YMCA)
What I Learned:
* Shoveling snow can be very peaceful. Brilliant white, random birds chirping, the feeling of getting something accomplished. I'm still over it.
* Knowing how to let the mind zone out can be a runner's best training tool.
Image from TheRunningAdvisor.com
That five miles I did on Monday? First, that's the farthest I've ever run. (Even when we did the Drumstick Dash back in November, that was only 4.5 miles...and I even took breaks to walk.)
Second, it really wasn't that bad! I know I was just having a good day, but I felt SO powerful all day long after that. When asked how I got through it, I had to answer that I Just Ran. Honestly, the hardest part was probably the last mile or so when I started thinking that I only had 7-6-5-...laps left. It made me focus on where I was and what I had left, which made it harder.
I really think I should hone in on a meditation practice. As I'm quickly learning, the mind can be the biggest cheerleader or the worst opponent. The more I learn to control and partner with my mind, the easier those longer runs will be.
* Look at the big picture. Today I ran the 3 miles with the sole goal of trying to get a sub 10-minute mile. (For non-runners, even a sub 10-minute mile really is rather slow. But my pace has consistently been around a 10:40/10:30 mile and I want to improve.)
My first mile was completed in 9:47. So far, so good. I was at mile 2 at 20:20. Off pace, but still redeemable. I finished all three in 30 minutes and 47 seconds. Even acccounting for a bit of distance mis-measurement (I count a full 7 laps as a mile where as the track on which I run is actually 6.8 laps / mile), I didn't get a(n average) sub-10 minute mile. *sigh*
But I RAN THREE MILES! That makes me smile. I remember back in October the thought of running a 5K (3.1 miles) was truly daunting. Today it was still a struggle to run but only because I was pushing myself and my pace.
I am entered in a 5K next Saturday and am going to completely push myself for that sub 10-minute mile time, darn it. Totally cool with swallowing my pride and looking like a running, huffing, puffing, stumbling fool if it means I'll get there. Ok, as long as there isn't pictures.
Time to meet the school bus!