Since Tower of Terror, I’ve settled down a little. I don’t want to say I’ve become complacent, but I just feel more … I don’t know… prepared?
Remind me of this post in a few weeks when I am getting ready for my very first ever (OMG!) half marathon.
Now that I have an official ten miler under my belt, I have some more confidence. I made it to the finish, without embarrassing myself, and I want to do more. Go farther. Be faster. I feel more comfortable that if I need to skip a run because I’m tired/not feeling well/hurting/busy, it’s not going to completely derail my training.
The pressure is still here, but it’s a different kind of pressure. A more enjoyable kind.
My heel was feeling a lot better on Saturday, so I got up and headed out, getting some miles in by the light of the moon, and continuing on through sunrise.
The weather had taken a turn for the colder. A week prior, the temperatures were in the high 70s early in the morning, but the cold snap meant a drop to the 50s. It took me a few minutes to pick something appropriate to wear. I settled on capris and a long sleeve shirt with a hood. I wanted to wear one of Mr PugRunner’s big sweatshirts, but I was under the impression that I would warm up along the way, and then be bogged down by the extra fabric and weight.
Honestly, I should have taken it.
It’s becoming clear that I am part reptile. I am happiest on a warm rock. While the rest of the running world yearns for cooler temps, I’m apparently built for summer. Don’t get me wrong: my legs work faster when it’s cooler, but breathing hurts, my ears sting and my fingers start to go numb. And this is only in the 50s! Gloves are in my future. And an ear warmer.
Oh, another (embarrassing) thing? The cold weather makes me have to go to the bathroom. Every. Ten. Minutes. Super inconvenient, no? I definitely need to manage my hydration exactly right this winter.
So the plan was ten miles. I made it just over two before I had to turn around and hit the loo. Annoying, but I got right back out there and started on the next eight.
All in all, it was a great outing. Even though I was pushing for distance, I kept an eye on my split times. While my 5K was slow, I shaved about five minutes off my 10K time, and came in a full six minutes under my official Tower of Terror time for the same distance. It’s such a great feeling to see my progress in cold, hard numbers. For a while, it felt like I was just getting out there and running without any growth or development, but now I realize that couldn’t be farther from the truth.
I was all smiles when I finally made it back into the (warm) house.
I’m maturing as a runner in other ways, too.
For one thing, I find myself really watching my form. From photos, I see that I run horribly pigeon-toed, and I am making a conscious effort to straighten my feet for efficiency. It’s uncomfortable but not impossible or harmful, and it’s little tweaks like this that will help me continue to evolve. I am going to a running form clinic in a few weeks with Kristin and I am really excited to see what they have to say about improvements I can make.
I also find that I’ve fallen into quite a groove without music. I bring my iPod with me, but since it’s incredibly early and dark when I start my runs, I don’t use it in the beginning, and by the time it gets light enough for me to feel safe plugging in one earbud, I am doing just fine and don’t want to upset the apple cart. In a million years, I never thought I would run ANY distance sans the distraction of some tunes, but I actually don’t mind it. I almost kind of prefer it. It’s like I don’t even know myself!
Even though I’m still a little nervous, I’m getting really excited for the Space Coast Half. It’s just such a huge goal for me, and it’s really right there, within my grasp. It’s mind boggling how far I’ve come in less than a year.
Are you a summer runner or a winter runner? Or somewhere in between?
Anyone run in a Snuggie? (Asking for a friend).
What are some improvements that you notice about yourself as you evolve in your running journey?