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Monday, January 14, 2013

Your Best Training Run Ever

Ever have a training run after which you have a moment of pure clarity and inspiring confidence in yourself? When you realize at the end: "I can do this," and you would cry if you were a little better hydrated?

Maybe you ran your first mile without stopping, or you broke an eight-minute mile for the first time, or finished your first marathon. Regardless of whatever it is you did, you feel an incredible sense of pride in yourself and have a kind of epiphany.

I had that today. And let me tell you, there is nothing like that moment of pure clarity.

After a very busy, stressful, and frustrating day at work, I came home, had a spectacular screaming match with someone I live with, and stormed out the door to the gym. I'd been planning to simply re-do Week 7 Day 2 (which consists of some tempo runs) of my 5 to 10K Program as I'd been having trouble with fueling the previous two times I attempted it and could barely finish.

However, I arrived at the gym so full of adrenaline that after my 5-minute warmup on the treadmill, I changed gears and suddenly decided to do Week 7 Day 3 -- a 55 minute steady run. Typically, I reserve the long runs for the weekends when I have a little more time to spend at the gym. But I thought, "Hell, I can do this. And I'm going to do it right now."

I did. And in that 55 minute run, I ran 5.7 miles.

It's my longest distance, my longest run duration, and provided me my greatest moment of clarity. In the last four minutes, my ultimate pump-up song, "How You Like Me Now?" by The Heavy serendipitously came up in my playlist. I felt myself filling with another burst of adrenaline, and pumped up the speed a few decimals for those last few minutes.

I was shocked at what I'd done. 26 days (according to my RunKeeper countdown) before my first 10K race, I'd run (stopping briefly only twice to sip some water) just one half-mile short of the race distance. And based on the time in which I did it, it suddenly became abundantly clear to me that not only was running a 10K under an hour somewhat feasible, it was real.  

I could run a 10K in under one hour.
Less than six months ago, I couldn't even run for five straight minutes without stopping.

When I'd set a goal for myself for this race, knowing I'd never run the distance before, I kept my goal at a generous 1:10 or less. But just in this training run, including my 10 total minutes of warm-up and cool down walking, I'd done over (6.3 miles) a 10K -- in 1:05. That's with 10 full minutes of walking.

I could run a 10K in under one hour.

And I will. How you like me now?


  1. That's awesome :) I had a similar moment when I was really starting to get in to distance running in Pittsburgh... I went out for a training run at night, and somehow ended up running 9 miles with 8 minute splits. When I talked about it with a friend at work the next day, she offered me her half marathon bib for free. Not even thinking, I accepted... even though it was 2 weeks away and 9 miles was the farthest I'd run, ever.

    I ended up finishing the Pittsburgh half (holy hills and bridges, Batman) in under 1:45, and sobbed like a baby when I crossed the finish line. So yeah, I get you ;) Good luck, and kick it's ass!!!

    1. Damn, girl! That's amazing, Jessi! I hope to someday be able to take that on as well. Baby steps - working up to it! Thanks!