Yesterday I held an ongoing debate with myself on whether or not to run. This may come as a surprise to most of you, but I ran. My plan called for a 10 mile run, but life gets in the way, and in post-time change so does sundown. I know I can run in the dark; I am sufficiently equipped with paraphernalia, but I really dislike it! (Warning: Please seat yourself before reading on.) So I did something that I rarely do: I went out on my run without a mileage goal OR planned route. I know you are asking yourself how OCD Jen managed this feat. Well, I actually was concerned about my calf (even more so than running in the dark) and decided best course of action would be to let my calf dictate the run. I’m not going to lie, it hurt when I first started. However, it didn’t take long for the soreness to go away; less than 1/2 mile. At this point, I figured that I should hold my distance to 5 miles but found myself dreading running the same ‘ole roads. I am SO bored with my routes AND my playlist! I was considering my alternatives when I remembered it was “Hug A Runner” Day. My chiropractor had commented that I should come by and get a hug, so that’s exactly what I did! I changed my route, quickly stopped in for a hug and said hello to everyone, then went down to run the loop at the park where I first started running. Even though I have “outgrown” that 1-mile loop, I always feel like I’m getting back to my running roots when I go there. As I was heading back and hit the 4-mile mark, I realized I was on track to set a 10k PB, if I amended my route to 6.2. Note: this is usually the point at which I lose all self-control and motor on as fast as I can to break my own record. This time, though, I kept a steady pace and had a heartfelt discussion with myself. I ended up deciding to run the route I was on and put the looming PB to rest.
I ended up running my fastest 5.5 miles to date! I don’t usually like to discuss my pace, because I feel like a turtle, but I averaged 9:18/mile. And while I pushed the pace for much of the run, I felt comfortable most of the time. I tried to focus on my hip extension, and have NO idea if there was any correlation between that and my pace. By all rights, it was a very good run!
I’ve been feeling a little melancholy lately. I wouldn’t describe it as a sadness, but I am not my usual chipper self. When I find myself in a funk, I am always bothered if I can’t identify the problem. I am a lot like a guy, in that I like to “fix” what is wrong. I suspect that my mood is highly correlated to my current stage in marathon training. I am anxious. REALLY anxious. I’m sad that my last long run is this weekend. I’m nervous about tapering and even more nervous about the race. Then there is the added stress of my recent ITB scare and my stupid calf problem. And, quite frankly, I am missing a friendship and what I thought that friendship meant to me and as the race draws closer I am reminded again and again that I miss my training partner and friend.
My friend, Running Lonely, discussed his disappointment regarding his performance 50k race last weekend. Part of me wonders HOW could he be disappointed – he finished! I’m in awe of his accomplishment. But the other part of me completely understands. So many people have told me that, in running my first marathon, the goal is “just” to finish. I can give lip service to that and say that is my goal, but I need to be true to myself. I know exactly what I want from this race and I won’t be satisfied if things don’t go as planned. (And guys, I AM smart enough to know it WON’T go as planned, but this is me and this is how I think.) Of course, all this added pressure on myself is contributing to my anxiety.
In other marathon news, I “think” I have settled on THE shoes. I am an Asics girl, through and through, and generally wear Gel Nimbus. I have strayed from Nimbus a few times but always come back to it. (My feet REALLY like this shoe, OK?) Upon the prodding and poking and suggesting of my Twitter friends, Paula and Mark, I tried Gel Kinsei. Kinsei has taken me a couple of runs to get used to it. My foot strikes a little differently in this shoe, but I like it….a lot!! I’m wearing them in my next long run and if all goes well, they will be THE shoes for race day! The commemorative marathon tattoo, however, is STILL up for debate. I’m really sad that I haven’t settled on a design, because I want to get it as soon as possible after the race! Suggestions are welcome!
Something that always makes me smile (and scratch my head at the same time) is when friends ask me for running advice. I’ve had so many people reach out to ask how I got started. They always go on to say that I have inspired them to try living a healthier life. This boggles my mind, people!! I have never seen myself as inspirational, but I am so humbled and honored by this. When I began eating healthier and running, I did it for ME. I still do it for ME. But, it’s a nice side effect of a healthy lifestyle, and a happy way to end my Friday post. 🙂
Have a fantastic Friday!!