Sunday, things started looking kinda bleak. After brunch at my Sister-in-law's house (and some running related banter with her brother,) my stomach started acting up by the time we got home. Too much rich food I suspect. I spent the next couple of hours curled up on the couch, or sprinting to the bathroom. After a while I made the decision to put on my gear, and see how I felt. After dressing, I felt alright, so I decided I would go, and run, and just see how I felt. No pressure to do the whole run, I was already planning on redoing week two.
I ran with music for the first time on the canal path. The music pumping into my ears helped me feel good. The weather was warmer than I had anticipated, and I was definitely over dressed. I had put my UnderArmour long sleeve base layer on under my short sleeve tech shirt, and was wearing full length Yoga pants. (yeah I know, so not running pants, but hey, they're comfy.) There was some gusty wind, but it didn't feel that strong as I started out.
When my phone chirped in my ear, letting me know I had hit mile one with a 11:24 min/mile pace, I knew I had started out too fast. I was still feeling good, but made the decision to consciously dial it back. I think subconsciously this was the moment I really decided I was going to actually try for the full five miles.
The next mile felt hard. The wind gusts felt more frequent and stronger. The trail was also hillier on this section, and it's a part of the trail I am a lot less familiar with. Somewhere in this mile, the thought occurred to me that I could just stop, call my dad and have him drive me back to my car (the part of the trail I was running on was very close to their house.) Somehow, my brain dredged up one of those inspirational sayings you see on pinterest, overlaid on some grandiose image of a runner or amazing scenery. I'm not sure where I saw it, or who the quote is attributed to, but right then it popped in my head and kept me running.
It was simply "You will want to quit. Don't."
So when the little voice in my ear chirped that I'd hit three miles, I turned, took a walk break for thirty seconds, and then kept running.
The next mile felt alternately amazing and horrible, depending on the hills I was encountering. I did have to pause my workout and walk at one point, where the path crosses a road, and I just didn't feel my legs could take using the underpass and going up the stairs, so I opted for the ramp up to the crosswalk. Luckily there wasn't a lot of traffic, so I didn't have to stand and wait to cross the road.
When the phone chirped the four mile mark, I was really feeling it. The sun was starting to go down, and I was starting to worry about it getting dark with me still out on the trail. I was having a really low moment, contemplating walking, when I looked up and a huge flock of birds started flying over me. I had one of those moments where it was just...yeah, awesome. The sky was huge and filled with amazing cloud formations. The trail was empty, and there were birds everywhere in the sky. The setting sun kept peaking through breaks in the clouds on the horizon, casting golden light in intermittent streaks across the path. It was enough for me to hold on to for that last mile.
When I finished the run, I had a nice long one mile cool down walk back to the car. I was constantly doing self diagnostics to make sure I wasn't pushing myself too hard. The last time I ran this distance, at the firecracker five miler, I put myself out of commission for two days, and was feeling the pain for many more after that. This time, I had enough left in my legs to walk that mile back to the car, and to go grocery shopping afterwards. True, there were no killer hills in this run, like there were in the race, and it also was not horribly hot and muggy like it was then, but I still feel really good about how I did on this run. Not bad for a run that almost did not happen.
I'll be back on the treadmill again tomorrow, but man did it feel good to be out on the trail for the run yesterday. Maybe I'll try to do some of my runs outside (with proper gear) through the winter.
|Took this right after I finished the five miles!|