Wednesday, September 28, 2016

In Running and In Life...

I tend to silo my running into something I do for roughly 30-60 minutes each outing and that is it. Check it off the list.  Move onto the next thing.  Of course my ability to go for a run often depends on several things, mainly that my children are cared for by someone that isn't me for that period of time.  Over the last few years, I have worked hard to limit that list of dependencies (some might call them excuses) and make running more of a priority.

One excuse that I am working on getting rid of is, "I'm skipping this morning run because I didn't get a full night of sleep last night."

Despite the fact that my children are 2 and 6, we still deal with one (or both) waking in the middle of the night once in a while...or in the case of a few weeks ago, every.single.night for a week.  Anyhoo, I noticed that if my kids did not sleep through the night, and hence, I would not sleep through the night, I took full license to shut off my early morning alarm and skip running in the morning which would consequently throw off my whole day because I would have this underlying anxiety of "when am I going to get my run in".  And, because I have a really difficult time falling back asleep once I wake up, It wasn't like that extra hour was always affording me an extra hour of sleep.

At about 1:30 this morning, my son woke up.  My husband went to figure out what he needed and I stayed in bed.  Unfortunately I didn't fall back asleep right away but eventually I did and thus when my 5:00 alarm went off, I was SO TEMPTED to shut it off and stay in bed.  I willed myself out of that bed...stumbled into the bathroom and almost went to the bathroom without removing articles of clothing first.  Thankfully, I did rise out of my stupor enough to get dressed and out the door.

My plan called for a speed workout today...and I debated actually doing that workout and getting an easy run in instead.

"I can do the speed work tomorrow.  I am sooo tired today."

I set off for my first few steps and settled into the first mile and you know what, I felt pretty good!  At  the point that my Garmin beeped, I had a sudden change of heart and was like, "Let's do this!"

The speed workout was named the "pace checker workout" in my plan.  It is defined as, "8x800m at goal half marathon pace with 1 minute rest.  This workout should get you comfortable with your race pace.  This is a good check-in point with your half goal.  If this workout is not doable as written, consider altering your half goal."

The different (time-based)* levels of my half goal are

A: Run 7:00 mile average pace.  Which leaves me in 1:31 land.

B.  PR in this event, which leaves me running faster than a 1:33:23 or 7:07 pace.

A 7:00 pace translates to a 3:30 800.  This seems really slow to me as the last time I was doing 800s, they were at 3:15-3:20 pace for marathon training.  Trust the process though, right? 

My first 800 was a 3:28.  It felt good - not too fast.  I wanted to maintain that for the next several.  Do not run not run faster. 

It started drizzling at some point during the dark morning, which felt pretty good. 

[I should mention that because it was still dark, I was doing these on a 1/2 mi course in the adjacent neighborhood, not on the track, which doesn't open until dawn.] 

A bunch of dogs started barking at me, scaring the crap out of me, during #5.

I finished number 8 feeling strong and still relaxed at a 3:18.  

During this workout, with every 800 that I crossed off the list, I was more and more confident in my half marathon goal but also with my upcoming day.  I had a big presentation this morning that I was going through in my head.  Yesterday, I made it through a practice round, "murder-board" style, which was a confidence boost.  But you know what was the biggest confidence boost?  Finishing those 800s slightly below my goal pace, feeling awesome.  Crushing that workout just set up my day in such a positive light.  I thought, "Aha! THIS is why people do morning workouts."

And now...I need coffee.  STAT.

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