I’m in love with running.
Less than a month ago, I ran around Lake Merritt for the first time without stopping to walk. I was exhausted but proud.
Yesterday, I ran it twice.
5.5 miles came up on my training plan for Sunday. Last week’s 5 mile run went beautifully and my great training runs this week took me by surprise. A few days ago, I started considering bumping this week’s long run up to 6 miles. Given my history with running Lake Merritt, there was no question that my first 6 mile run would be twice around the 5k trail that had eluded me for so long.
I woke up feeling nervous! I haven’t had an unsuccessful long run yet but the idea of comfortably running the lake twice seemed almost too awesome to be true. Just to hedge my bets, I wore my ANIMAL socks.
As soon as I began to run, I had to pee. Noooooooo! I was only aware of it for the first quarter mile before my body forgot. As with each long run, I have to make a very concerted effort to not only start slowly but continually monitor and pull back my pace. It doesn’t feel natural to run 11:30mm. In fact, it feels pretty uncomfortable. It’s great from an aerobic perspective but I feel much more impact in my joints when running slowly than when I run faster. Still, I reined in my energy and boy, did it pay off.
I couldn’t be prouder of these splits. Not shown were Mile 1 (11:09) and Mile 2 (11:04). SO EVEN! WOOAH! In the last mile and a half, I felt so comfortable that I just let myself go at the pace that felt natural and right. At the end, I pushed it – just because I could.
This run felt amazing. I had a genuinely great time. At various points, I had some physical discomfort but it never seemed to last longer than a few minutes. There were also moments of mental fatigue but by keeping my heart rate down, they didn’t require much self-talk. Mostly, I just felt awesome. Highlights were turning around and starting the second loop with a big smile. Looking down at my phone and seeing 1:01 also tickled me for some reason. Running for over an hour and feeling comfortable was kind of mind-blowing.
Also, an embarrassing realization about running math: 6.02 is not 6.2. Bummer. And upon reviewing my past runs, it is not the first time I have failed to make this distinction. Yeah, I have a Master’s degree. Perhaps my granting institution would like that back….
My love of running is not a love that hits me over the head or struck me at first…strike. It’s the kind that grew so slowly and steadily that all of a sudden, I was in it and couldn’t be happier!
Readers: Have you ever gone from completely incompatible to completely in love a la Hepburn and Tracy or Shauna and running?