It hasn’t really been a secret that lately my running has been all over the board in terms of pace. One week, I PR a 10k and the next, I can barely hack a 5 mile long run. In many ways, that’s just the nature of running and I know it’s not necessarily true of just this season. Especially as I am now fully back into a training cycle, it’s a very different experience than just going out for a run just because I can. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t do this if deep down I didn’t love it. But, it’s freaking hard and kind of lonely sometimes.
Ever since the 25k, it’s felt like more of my runs have fallen into the “not so great” category. Yes, it makes the great runs that much greater, but it’s also discouraging, especially in the midst of what’s already a somewhat overwhelming and stressful time in my life. I know that because it’s summer, the heat and humidity are naturally going to slow me down, but I still can’t help but feel a bit frustrated, especially knowing I had made such great progress before the 25k. As much as the 10k PR a couple weeks ago felt awesome, I desperately have needed a run just on my own, without the adrenaline and crowds that come with race day, where I finish feeling like I just kicked some serious booty. Just earlier this week, I had this overwhelming feeling that if I were to never put on my running shoes or my Garmin ever again, I could be okay with that. It’s not actually true at all, but it the moment, that’s all I could feel. I needed something to remind me that I can do this, that I do love it.
I set out last night with an angry stomach and sheer exhaustion from too many nights in a row of not being able to sleep. I had very low expectations and really felt like they were going to be junk miles at best. Still, I’ve made a commitment to this 26.2 and I will cross that damn finish line, even if I have to crawl over it, so off I went.
I have zero idea where it came from, but I got that run I needed. Everything came together just right. My legs felt fresh and strong, my breathing under control. At 75 degrees and humidity under 50% for a change, it felt downright lovely outside. I ran my little heart out. When I hit the three mile mark and saw I had a sub-30 minute finish for the first time in well over two months, I could have cried tears of joy.
Last night was exactly, perfectly the run I’ve been waiting for, and for the first time in this training cycle, I truly felt like the marathon was attainable.