One of the things I do while I run is write blog posts in my head. I actually run about five days per week, and I do not blog five days per week…so you can easily do the math to realize that not every made up blog post makes it to the (theoretical) printing press. Yesterday, I decided I was tired of the Central Park loop and headed over to the west side since I haven’t run north on the WSH in a long, long time…probably pre-injury. I really do like running on the west side and figure that’s what my blog post would be about.
The view of the George Washington Bridge. The sunset over Jersey. Water fountains in the summer. How the path is wide enough so bikers don’t try to run you over. It’s some good stuff.
So I ran along the WSH, enjoying the views of the Hudson and the GW Bridge…and the wind smack into my face. I forgot that it gets windy over there in the winter months, and you can definitely feel it. On Monday, I was talking to Chris who said, “Boston training starts today!!” Monday was 18 weeks out, yikes! I told him that I don’t think I’m ready to start training and want another 4-6 weeks of base building before I start adding in speed work.
Let’s just say I’ve done a lot of eating of my words lately…and to be honest, they’re quite tasty. (Does that make sense? I don’t think it does. Just work with it.)
So I ran five miles out and turned around, suddenly with the wind at my back. I happened to be thinking about something quite distracting (although due to the black hole that is the running mind, I couldn’t even begin to tell you what I was thinking about), and I glanced down at my watch to see I was running a 7:10 mile. “That would be about goal marathon pace…” I thought to myself. Then I thought, “Boston probably wouldn’t be a PR race, you were out for a long time and don’t have much base going into it.” Which is true. Another post coming, but I’m actually scared for this upcoming training cycle because 1) I started from scratch, ground zero in October after six months off. 2) I’m terrified (and I mean terrified) that my back pain will come back. I feel twinges every now and then and it makes me so nervous.
But when I saw that 7:10 mile (wind was at my back, let’s not go overboard), I wondered what would happen if I actually tried to run fast. I’ve already thought that my 2013 training mindset would be that of Oiselle:
You never know how fast you can go unless you try. So when my watch beeped to mark the start of the seventh mile of the run, I took off. I thought maybe a 6:30 mile would be nice, but I basically just ran, channeling my inner Jeri and thinking, “Don’t think, just run.” (Thinking about not thinking doesn’t really count…) I could tell I was working harder than usual and my legs were pumping, lungs working. But it didn’t seem overly…hard. Which is always the thought in the first quarter mile of anything, right?
It obviously got a bit harder as the mile progressed, but it was only a mile and I love running fast and the feeling of flying. I glanced at my pace every now and then was pleased to see 6:10-6:30-ish. With a quarter mile to go, I picked up the pace and sped through the rest of the mile. My watch beeped to show a 6:08 mile…a huge smile crossed my face and I practically high fived myself. (I do this often, asked Jocelyn.)
To say that that felt awesome would be a bit of an understatement…I can still run fast. It was only a mile, but I didn’t feel like death or hit the puke zone (it’s a real thing!) which makes me excited for what’s to come. I don’t think I’m ready for full on speed work quite yet, but I’m feeling a little better about this upcoming year of marathon training.
When did you last feel like you were flying? Skydiving counts, although that seems more like falling rather than flying…