Yesterday, was the best run I’ve ever had.
I cried happy tears. Twice.
On Saturday, I will run my second half marathon! My goal for the race is simply to beat my PR of 2:15:45 (10:29 avg) from October. My most recent long run was riddled with mistakes, including going out too fast. I’ve historically been good at conserving my energy (arguably being a bit too conservative) and I’d like to take that approach for this weekend’s race as well as the marathon. For yesterday’s six mile run, I planned to execute my pacing for miles 1-6. That meant around 10:20 for the first four miles and then up to 10:00 for the remaining two. I also wanted to practice being much nicer to myself by saying positive things and re-framing any negative thoughts that showed up.
I began to run and things felt great. So I told myself that! Starting the positive thinking right away! It always takes a couple minutes for the lap pace on my Garmin to settle but I kept an eye on it until it hit 10:20. At that point, I focused on how my body felt and my breathing pattern. I chose to save my music for the second half, as I will in the race. It was nice to have a specific pace to focus on at the beginning of a longish run so I didn’t feel daunted by the distance. As I warmed up, I noticed the pace creeping down. Instead of worrying that I was going to go out to fast and have a miserable run, I noted how great I felt and just kept telling myself to dial it back.
First mile clocked in at 10:02. Oops! I felt wonderful. Dial it back.
Mile 2: 10:15. Gave myself a pat on the back and continued to challenge myself to dial it back.
Mile 3: 10:04. Still feels really great! I began to realize that I had chosen 10:20 somewhat arbitrarily as a pace that would feel very comfortable and force me to hold back energy for later. Clearly yesterday, that pace was closer to 10:00.
Mile 4: 9:57. Turnaround point + music = Shauna let out of the zoo! If I hadn’t made a very concerted effort to hold back, this mile would have been much faster. This was also the point I had happy tears for the first time. I felt so good, so successful, so strong. I was joyful! I spent the next mile considering the possibility that I could feel joy during Saturday’s half. Or all the time?
Mile 5: 9:35. Rather than practicing the first half of my race strategy, I was clearly executing the back half. So great! At this point, I stopped holding back and just enjoyed my music and how amazing I was feeling. I had heard the word “phenomenal” float through my mind about thirty times by this point.
Mile 6: 9:15. So happy. So happy. SO SO SO SO HAPPY. Seriously kicked it in for the last quarter mile and felt like I turned into a bicycle! That’s where the happy tears showed up for the second time.