In Love.

I’m in love with running.

It happened.

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.

God, this was awesome.

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.

Animal is my spirit guide.

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.

Check. Me. OUT.

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?

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10 thoughts on “In Love.

  1. Anna says:

    Reading this brought a huge smile to my face because I can totally relate! I used to actually not like running and only recently I learned and noticed how well I can do, how great it feels to push myself a little and how my body responds to the workouts.
    Congratulations on such an amazing run!

  2. TJ says:

    Yes!! I used to find it torturous – running the mile in PE was awful. Years later I learned that the first mile of any run isn’t the most pleasant… But them you get past the hump and suddenly you feel like you could run forever.

    You rock, Shauna!!!

  3. I’m in my office reading your post and I just want to get up, go home, change, and go running. What a motivating read.

    I love running too!

  4. JenJ says:

    Hi Shauna, just come across your blog and yes, me too! I went from self-declared running hater to having two half-marathons and a bunch of 5k and 10k races under my belt in just under 2 1/2 years! So yes, I totally get it. And well done on your 5k improvement. Every second counts and I remember breaking the 30-minute mark — it felt wickedly awesome! Keep running, much love!

    • Shauna says:

      That’s so great to hear, Jen! It’s such a great sport because there is measurable improvement all the time. I can’t wait to see where we both are in another 2.5 years!

      Marathon finishers for sure. 😀

  5. Julie says:

    After 3+ years, I still hate running. Standing outside my house telling myself to start running is still hard. But I always feel amazing afterwards, and to some degree feel good while I’m doing it. But I don’t think I’ll ever “love” it. I’m envious! 🙂

    • Shauna says:

      I’m really shocked. I would probably hate it if I ran as fast as you do. 😀

      • Julie says:

        That’s actually a great point. I run for the cadio aspect, so I have to run pretty fast to keep my heart rate up. The annoyance of getting into running shape – you do it because it’s great cardio, but the better you get at it, the less effective a workout it is. Arg!

        I might love it if I exercised less often too. Like if I only ran once a week my legs would probably sing. Haha.

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