Guess who set a Personal Fucking Record this morning?!?! I did. That’s who. Sweet Thang beat me in the sprint to the end but I still finished in 2:26:56 an 11:12 pace. AND I ran the whole thing. I chopped off 33 minutes from my last half. It. was the easiest half I’ve ever run. I just focused on the moment of each mile. When it got a little hard I focused on form. Keep breathing, lean forward, use my arms, land on a mid foot stride. I had a great attitude. And I noticed I was booking it but tried not to get caught up in it or think too much about it. I wanted to run as strong as I could when I felt good to pull and carry us for the earlier miles. I didn’t know what miles 11-13 would bring. Turns out they were no big deal. I feel so good about this race. I even love the fact that in mile 12 we started getting pelted with icy sleet, that my fingers were unusable cold even with gloves. We had these results because we consistently worked our asses off. In heat. In cold. In wind. On hills. Three times a week. Week after week. The hill route we have been doing and the wind sprints coach Guido on the cross country team subjected the kids and by default me to all paid off big time. The course was great. The volunteers were awesome. There was a lot of love on that course. Super fantastic excellent race!! I’m kind of sad I’m not planning to run the Santa Hustle Half Marathon. This was officially my last half of the season. Time to focus on strength and cross training before training season starts. What’s your winter training plan?!
I had to look at the blog to see when I last wrote about running, How sad is that? Maybe it’s a good thing I reached the point where I just do it and don’t really tell anybody about it. That hasn’t been on purpose, I only just noticed it now. So let’s see what’s up with the running. I ran my most recent Half over Labor Day weekend, then I chose to do something different. I wasn’t injured or lazy so within a week Sweet Thang and I were back out running.
We had to change our schedule and our routes a little because MiniMe and The Destroyer began running on the local cross-country team. Yes, they really do start them at age 6. We have had mixed results with the experiment but overall they both like running and both run faster than I can. MiniMe even beat her brother by less than a second when she pulled an 8:53 mile in the Liger Mile. It was the first time my baby left it all out on the course and I was so proud of her. The kids in cross-country has added another layer of chaos to our lives but it has also resulted in Sweet Thang and I accidentally discovering the BEST hill route. Start at Founders park and if you head right around the circle there are two hill to climb, head out onto 106th and depending how far you go East you can grab 2-4 more. We do out and back so we repeat the same hills back, you get one more into Founders Park.
The funny thing about accidentally discovering this hill route comes from one of the multitude of great running things that have happened since Labor Day weekend. The weather cooled off and we are both getting faster. There are runs where I’d venture to say I have more left at the end than Sweet Thang. We are just enough competitive with each other. Of course if left to her own pace she could still smoke me in a half, but I bet I’d last a lot longer than those Early Spring training runs for the Y where I couldn’t do it past 2 miles or so. I’ve been getting up early to run on Saturday morning for so long my body wakes up no later than 7:22. This can be annoying when I go to bed at 3am at the Chateau and I don’t have plans to run that early on my girls weekend. But it’s also just another sign in a long line of signs from the fall that I AM a runner. I am a runner. I AM A REAL RUNNER!!!!! Squeeee! I sure never saw it coming two years ago when I picked up the habit. Which brings me to weird things runners do, like getting excited about running on new road before cars can drive on it. Or driving along, seeing a hill and thinking…”Man I’d love to run up that effer”. Or calling your running buddy and saying crazy shit like ” You know, if we loop back and forth along abc street we can pick up BOTH the overpass hill and the long one in the other direction, waddya think?” Which is why it was funny when within 24 hours she picked the hill route mentioned above, we have been running it a lot lately. It may be my favorite out and back route.
I’ve also developed a preference for route types. Out and back are great for when I need to force myself to get ALL the mileage in. But sometimes for the longer miles I want scenery so we make bigger loops through neighborhoods we haven’t explored yet. As Sweet Thang and I put in our mileage for our next race, Indianapolis Monumental (Half) Marathon in two weeks, our furthest distance from home mileage has climbed. For instance, I now think nothing of seeing friends driving while I am out running. If they aren’t distance runners they always go ” Wow, you were all the way over there?” To me it’s just part of X mile route. About a month ago on our 10 miler Sweet Thang and I calculated we could get a great 10 miler in if we ran to the Starbucks and back. I countered with, we would have to stop at Target and shop as well, but as luck would have it neither of us run with purses so we had to make do with running our planned 10 mile route instead.
My public running declarations have waned, maybe less so on my private Facebook, but my running hasn’t. In two short weeks I will cross another 13.1 finish line and someone will place my 5th Half Marathon medal around my neck. I will stumble over to the nearest patch of grass and begin the battle between stretching vs am I going to puke. Sweet Thang and I will be praising and cursing our individual performances. Then we will no doubt have the crazy runners delusional moment where we talk about, ” I know we said no more halfs this year but Santa hustle is just 4 weeks away…..” Hopefully one of us will remember our pact and enforce the winter of cross, strength, and speed training. How do I know I’m going the distance with running in general…It’s because I also know Sweet Thang and I will seek one hill day a week. Ask me how that is going when there is 4 inches of snow and ice on the ground and I’m running in 10 degree weather in the dark…… Then remind me how I went on and on about preferring cold weather running to the 105 BS we had last summer.
How’s running going for you? Fall is a great time to pick up outdoor running if you’re considering it. Have a great day Lovies, I’m off to buy flower bulbs and get them int he ground in the next 36 hours while it is still 77 degrees in Indiana.