Tuesday, February 10, 2015

The reward of character building miles

I had one of those epiphany-inducing runs today. In fact, I had 4 separate epiphanies. They were each capable of producing a blog of epic proportions. But the endorphins faded away and the afternoon wore on and thus, I am only able to cough up a brief splatter. I promise it sounded better in my brain.

1. Why my husband is so frickin' amazing to be my running cheerleader. He puts up with my incessant ramblings, race fees, and still asks me how my run was every time I get back.

2. Body image. How I am proud of the one I've got. That comparing is a dangerous game. I'd rather eat nachos than bounce quarters off my abs. Mine still allows me whip through the woods with my lungs burning on a winter day so beautiful it's almost unreal.

3. Rest. Two nights of 8+ hours and leisurely lingering over morning coffee is certainly not making running worse. It just so happens that I had 2 really, really great runs after said rest.

4. Running is awesome. No really. You didn't know?! For all the pooptastically tough and character building miles, there are a rare few that make you feel like a superhero. Where your legs feel so powerful and you get completely lost in your thoughts.

I will save my awe-inspiring posts until...um, probably never. Those things that sound so good in my brain on my run never make it to the keyboard in the same way. Why is that?

Anyway, the not-so-eloquent recap of the past 10 days includes a post of my Strava calendar:
I finally dumped the streak after 35 days and an impending 21 miler. It wasn't with much fanfare. I've been a 4 day a week runner for quite some time so the fact that I made it through 35 days without much ado was enough for me. The only thing that I noticed was that I felt like my speed was lacking and my long runs were all pretty tough. So I am hoping a 5ish day a week schedule will let me get the rest I need and push me back down to my happy speeds.

I tried running last Monday after work as I knew I'd be out at 5 p.m. (early for me). I only packed a t-shirt and arm warmers and regretted not packing another layer with every step. And my Garmin somehow must have been bumped on while at work so it died in the first half mile. And then I had a Code Abby. Not really the way I want to get reacquainted with daylight runs after work.

At least the sky was pretty when I finished...
I took a rest day before the 21 miler and fueled up on garbage before my run. I normally don't have an issue with pizza, but I think there was an overload of cheese. It's not my fault cheesy bread is so delicious.
And then without giving it much thought, I ate waaaaay too much fiber at breakfast. No Code Abbys, but I felt puketastic for 16 of the 21 miles. Enough that I barely drank anything and could only suck down 1 GU. I couldn't quite figure out exactly why I felt so awful (too much fat? too much fiber? too much run streak? too little sleep? too little rest? too many hormones?), but the recipe for this disaster will certainly not be repeated.
It doesn't look disastrous I realize, but it certainly awful.

Then, I was like, what in the heck is going on with me??! I have not had a great long run during this training cycle at all. Stupid rain run, stupid leg murder on the trails, stupid puketastic 21 miler. What gives?!

So I rested again Saturday. I ran 5 easy Sunday morning. It was eh.

Then I slept late, wore my Kinvaras, chose the treadmill, and actually felt ah-mazing yesterday. I did a 5 mile progressive run where I ran 8:34/8:20/8:00/7:47/7:30. Everything seemed to fall into place. I drank a green smoothie when I was finished. Sometimes I crave things that are good for me.
Today's run started off feeling easy. When the first mile beeped off at 7:52, I knew I was in a good place. I had in my head to do 8 and so I just tried to keep it easy through the first 3. Then I was feeling strong as I eased to the halfway point so I tried to start to pick up the pace. I neared a tempo pace in the middle miles and pushed to maintain a strong finish. It was blissful.

I used my beer drinking stein as a vessel for more green stuff.
But after finishing the federal and state taxes, multiple loads of laundry, and a few articles for the website, I decided it was time for some comfort food.
And now I work on the last minute decision of a trail marathon on the 21st, convincing Adam I won't die doing the Mitten Challenge, and figuring out how to encapsulate one iota of that brilliance that comes to me while running.

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