This morning I found my love for running again. Lately I haven’t felt like getting up in the morning to run and one reason I have been getting up is because I want to complete my training program. I felt like I had to get up and run instead of wanting to get up and run. I had been dreading this workout all week. My training plan wanted me to start with a one mile warm-up. After that I was to run three miles at a conservative pace and then four miles at a steady pace that I was supposed to maintain. Next it wanted me to run three miles at a competitive, fast pace and then finish with a one mile cool-down. This was the first time that I would be racing during a long run. My long runs are usually done at an easy pace and that is why I was worried.
I woke at 6 am and dressed for a very cold run because my phone said it was 51 degrees outside. Good thing for arm warmers! It was still dark when I arrived out front which made it feel even colder out. I started my Nike and Charity Miles apps and then I was off! I made my way slowly through the Gardens and the Common for my warm-up. By the time I left there and was headed toward the River I started mile two. During the three conservative miles I started feeling discouraged. I felt like I was running faster than my warm-up mile, but my times did not reflect that. My second mile was actually my slowest at 10:02 minute per mile pace.
When I reached mile four I tried to pick up the pace some more for the steady pace part of the run. It was at this time that I started to actually feel good during the run; I guess I was still warming up before. I was running faster and as I ran around the river I got to see how beautiful Fall really is in Boston. It was still dark out, but I could make out the colorful orange and red trees that were reflected in the water. After I completed my loop around the river, I ran past my starting point there and all the way to the bridge, then I turned around and completed the loop again in the opposite direction. At about mile seven I stopped to go to the restroom and have one of my energy gels. This time it was berry and very delicious!
When I was halfway through the second loop I came to the hard part of the run: the fast competitive pace. I was really surprised with how well I did! I kept telling myself that all I had to do was try my best and that’s what I did. My paces were in my half marathon goal pace range with my eleventh mile being my fastest at 8:13. The great thing was that I felt like I could keep on going after mile eleven! I believe that if the plan called for it I could have gone another mile or two at the faster pace.
The last mile took me back over to the public gardens. When I arrived in Boston last Sunday I had spotted a tree there with beautiful red leaves during my cab ride to the hotel. I hadn’t been to the park yet because of how busy I have been at work this week, so I was determined to find that tree. I spotted it from across the gardens and made my way over there as it started to rain. I took a couple photos of it and then headed back to the hotel to stretch in the gym.
This run was the first time that the thought of making my goal time during my half marathon crossed my mind. I really feel like I can do this now! I finished the twelve miles in 1:48:04 giving me an average pace of 8:59! This run helped calm my nerves about my race in December. All I can do is train hard and try my best.