Sunday, September 22, 2013

Sometimes you need to go it alone

11 solo miles, my longest ever alone. Time of day is irrelevant.

It's been a tough couple of weeks around here...  Very busy with some good and some not so good stuff. It has all caught up to me and when my alarm went off this morning for my long run with friends, it just wasn't happening. My head hurt, my throat felt weird, my cheeks and teeth hurt and I'm pretty sure I skipped the cold part and went straight into a sinus infection. I decided to just sleep--which actually meant listening to sick LightRunner cry and the rest of the children be way too loud. I sacrificed my long run with friends for that! I got up and thought how much doing 11 miles alone was going to suck. Luckily I quickly realized it would indeed suck if I thought of it like that. So I flipped around and reframed it as an opportunity, an opportunity to test my mental strength and to do things you just can't do in a group--like play with my pace. I decided to do the first half slow and speed up the second half, which is the goal all the time but doesn't necessarily happen.

I started out with the first mile really slow as a warmup. Usually I go too fast in the beginning but I made a conscious effort to really slow down. Then the next couple of miles I went slightly faster but still on the conservative side. When I hit 4.5 miles I sped up a lot and ran a mile as fast as I could. I had really wanted to do the 11 miles in 2 hours and when I saw that if I sped up just a bit I could reach the halfway point in an hour, I decided to go for it. I made it there in time and was really happy that I had been able to speed up after already running 4.5. I freely admit that when I reached 5.5 I stopped the clock, ate my chews, drank more water, and blew my nose again. I started up again rather slow, slower than I intended but not too crazy. When I thought I wouldn't make it in 2 hours I dug deep and sped up, determined to have my second half faster. I repeated "I will do this" over and over and it worked. I started running much quicker and feeling like I could do what I wanted if I just didn't give up. I kept reminding myself that if I could run 5 miles pushing a stroller and keep up an 11 min pace, then I could run 5 miles without the stroller much faster (I left out the part about already running 5 miles). When I got to 8.5 I was getting tired, but I really wanted to do this. So I just kept the mantra going, kept my legs moving, and then I was at 9, and then 10. When I reached 10 miles I had 11 minutes until the 2 hour mark. I sped up and truly pushed myself and didn't accept any excuses (nope, sorry little bladder, not stopping this time!). The watch hit 11 miles at 1:59 and I couldn't have been happier (that's a lie. I can always be happier, but it was pretty good.)

My first mile was 11:21 and my last was 10:03. My last was much faster than all the rest and I was super stoked that I managed to do it on tired legs. The first half, 5.5 miles was 1:00 and the second was 59:26. While not by much, I did what I set out to do. I ran the second half faster, I ran faster on tired legs, and I ran the last mile the fastest. And I did it all alone on country roads with rolling hills and no houses let alone people to cheer for you. If I can do that, I am sure I can do this half marathon.

1 comment:

Librarina said...

You are, indeed, Wonder Woman!