I've been at a loss for words lately. I have loads of things I'd like to discuss here but everything on the forefront of my mind feels so serious and I find myself shutting down. I'm in a funk, y'all and it's a big bad one. The last couple of weeks have brought with them an increase in pressure at work, a barrage of doctor's visits for my dad, and the death of my dear friend's newborn infant and my great-uncle. I've kept all of these things to myself because it seems unnecessary to unload it on anyone else, as we all have our issues. I sure could use a hug, though.
Luckily none of these things have affected my training. In fact, they've probably intensified it. See, working out brings me a sense of peace and calm that I have trouble finding otherwise. As always, I am so thankful to have running as my beacon of light. It is a source of stability in my sometimes-chaotic life and it has helped me through tough times more than I can count on one hand.
As far as my half-marathon training goes, this weekend our long run was only 6 miles. That makes me laugh, to say anything was "only" six miles but that's four miles less than the week prior and therefore deserving of an "only". The reason for the shorter distance is because we calculated what is known as our "magic mile", a mile run at about 80-90% effort used as a predictor of our race pace and performance. For more on Jeff Galloway's magic mile formula, click here.
So, we ran an easy mile warm-up and then arrived at the marker to begin the magic mile. Usually we run as a group, two-wide and in formation but for the magic mile it was a free-for-all and my competitive side loved it. I started off conservatively slow and stayed that way for the first .25 miles, at which point I realized I had a lot of juice left and started passing people. My favorite part of the run was the very last stretch where I told myself to treat it as a race and I mustered everything I had and sprinted to the finish.
I stopped my watch and glanced down at the time and my eyes kind of bugged out when I realized what it said: 10:44!! My fastest mile ever... and I didn't walk any of it. Just seven months ago I had declared a goal to be able to run a mile without walk breaks... and here I had done it in record time. That was a cool feeling. Even better though, was knowing I could have run it even faster but had conserved energy for the four remaining miles we had yet to cover.
Up until this week I was running only three days a week, with Zumba two nights a week for a total of 5 days of cardio. Saturdays are my long run days and I've been using Sunday as sort of a catch-all... do yoga, or a dvd or nothing at all. This week I decided to mix things up a bit and use Sunday as a fourth running day. I felt great. I'm not sure if it's because of the shorter distance on Saturday but I think I am going to try to incorporate Sunday running in to my regular workout schedule. I will treat it as a recovery run day, keeping the mileage low and the pace easy.