Monday, November 11, 2013

No Pressure Running (and What Does the Fox Say?)

Happy Monday! I hope most people have a day off today for Veterans's Day. I also hope everyone had a good weekend full of sweaty adventures.

I did a seven mile run on Friday, which felt great. I am obsessed with the weather right now. Perfect running weather attire for me: gloves, long sleeve shirt, shorts. Saturday I took Milo for a long walk and did a workout on the Nike Training Club App.

This thing is really neat. I've never been a fan of workout apps. They just never seemed to be set up well and I could never really get into them. I was struggling for motivation on Saturday, and thought it would be a great time to try it.

There are lots of options for individual levels, what you want to work on, etc. The lady on it gets a little annoying, but I was sort of glad she was there to tell me what to do!

The app is free, which is awesome. A great tool for when you are struggling for motivation!

Since becoming a distance runner again, Sundays have returned as long run day. And 18 miles was on my agenda this past weekend. Eeep! I haven't run that far in almost a year.

I knew I needed to run on the road instead of the trails this time. And I ALMOST bailed. I got sucked into watching reruns of The Office and didn't want to leave my couch or Milo! Sometimes the thought of running for 3 hours is just so daunting. I told myself that if I wasn't feeling it after half an hour that I could just turn around and head back home. Luckily, I got my butt out the door!

Burke Gilman Trail in the fall time.
And I felt great once I started! At first, my plan was to break up the run into 3 mile chunks, trying to get a little faster each one. My first three miles were not consistent, but the next three were pretty even around 9.08. The next two miles got a little slower without my noticing and then I totally hit a wall. I was feeling great until around mile 9 when I turned around, and then I guess the thought that I was only half way through flipped a mental switch.

I struggled around 9.30s before giving myself a pep talk. While I'm not trying to PR this marathon in a few weeks, I thought about how fun it would be to do well, despite only a month or so of training. While my knees were aching and my hip flexors were getting tighter with every step, I started turning my legs over a bit quicker. My last 7 miles were each 9 minutes or faster. And although I was dead by the end, I felt like I could have pushed faster. My last mile was an 8.44.

Haven't seen 18 miles in awhile.
Just goes to show how mental the sport of running is. I had to really concentrate, but I pushed my pace below what was comfortable. And it just took a little mental strength. My body already knows what to do!

Thumbs up-ski!
I'm hoping for one more long run next weekend before the race in a few weeks, but we will see how I feel. I know I'll feel more prepared if I run at least 20 before race day, but I have zero expectations for this marathon, so I guess it doesn't really matter! No pressure running is fun! =)

I'm pretty happy with how I felt while running. It hurt a bit, but nothing was too painful. After I stopped, however, was another story! My knees were almost non-functional, my feet were screaming and several hours later my legs were just totally achy. I remember last year being able to run 22 miles, go to Crossfit and feel perfectly fine. Sigh. This is much healthier, though, I just have to keep telling myself and it doesn't mean I am out of shape!

And, with all that jazz, I leave you with this video for your Monday morning:

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