March 12, 2012

Still Grateful... a Year Later

On Sunday, I ran 8 miles. Another post-injury milestone, the longest I've run since last Spring. In fact, the last time I ran 8 miles was on February 20th, 2011. Here's how I logged that workout in dailymile over a year ago.
There's so much I love about this post. These people are still in my life, some more than others, and I've since made so many more incredible running friends.
I love that my friends inspired me to drag my butt out of bed to run and that I'm doing my best to replace the term "I'm jealous" with "I'm inspired" from now on.
I love that I LOVED my new Brooks Launch sneakers, since replaced with these Newtons which are now my beLOVEd running sneakes.
I'm amused that my right hip hurt and I chose to ignore it; until I looked at this post, I didn't realize that I was ignoring an injury for so long. Hmm... food for thought.
I love that it took me 1:21 to run 8 miles last year... and this Sunday, it took me just under 1:12.
I love that I ran a sub 9 minute mile pace for 8 miles on Sunday, without any hamstring or hip pain. And I finished with a smile on my face.
I love that prior to running the 8 miles this weekend, I fueled with buttery biscuits & mimosas (recipe tomorrow!). Not the best pre-run meal, but again, I had a smile on my face.

Sunday's 8 mile run was in preparation for my next race, a 15k in Central Park on April 1st. I signed up, not even thinking about the fact that I would actually need to train for it. The last time I ran a 15k was a few weeks after the Philadelphia Marathon and I knew I could run 9.3 miles. But at this point in my running, 8 miles is once again considered a "long run" for me and that feels a bit strange. I remember back when 8 miles was a midweek run, and 18 was considered long. So, instead of focusing on my speed, I did my best to maintain a steady pace for the entire run.  I started with music, but then realized that I was allowing the music to influence my pace, and turned it off just into the second mile. I'm now planning on running the 15k without music and am looking forward to the sound of my fellow racers' feet pounding the pavement around me. It also took a good 2 miles for my legs to warm up, for my pace to feel comfortable, and for me to relax into the run. But once I did, it was smooth sailing. Time flew and although it didn't feel easy, it did feel right.

This morning, my legs were tired so I'm going to shake them out on the bike tonight. Tomorrow is speed work with Abbe & Baker and I'm pretty excited about that. I'm back and it feels pretty darn good :) A year later, still grateful.
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