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Sunday, June 23, 2013

Mission Accomplished

My last post a few days ago was about the negative splits that kept evading capture. It didn't take long to track that beast down and nab it. Twice in fact. During back to back runs. Last night I was feeling good, determined. I slacked this week when it came to running, exercise in general. Monday nights are normally Zumba night for me, but the mister came home from work so late that I didn't get to class. I thought about bringing all 3 kids along to sit in child watch, but I quickly decided against unleashing the hell spawn they've been of late on any unsuspecting innocents. I got my scheduled run in on Tuesday, but crapped out on Thursday, and then the make up day on Friday. I refused to let the weekend go down in flames as well.

So with a nice long nap Saturday afternoon and a good dinner, I set out at dusk for a quick 2 miles. I've been setting my virtual pacer on my Garmin to 10:45, but have been staying well under that. I did my first mile, part of it downhill, the rest flat, in 10:06. Now that would be a hard mile to beat for the second one, because the 2nd mile was half flat, and a good chunk of uphill climbs. As my BRF and Team Shamy partner Patty says, hills are my own personal Wil Wheaton, my arch nemesis(if you don't get this reference, well, you are missing out in life). I spend all of my time avoiding hills at all cost. I. Hate. Hills. I've been forced to start confronting the enemy recently, because, unbeknownst to me when I registered, the Rock N Roll Half Marathon I'm doing in St. Louis in October is hilly. If there is one thing I hate more than hills, it's hills during long distances. If I encounter them on shorter runs, I can live with them. But you add 13.1 miles and hills, more specifically reaching the pit of despair point during a half(you know, the point where you are just ready to die and you question your sanity because you didn't just sign up, but you paid money to get to this lowly state) AND facing hills, and the pair is not exactly my idea of a good time.

So I've been forcing myself to face hills more often, in hopes of being somewhat prepared for that battle. Facing a hill during my second mile, a very long hill, followed by a shorter, steeper hill, didn't leave me confident that I'd be faster than 10:06. but I pushed it, and it paid off.
I didn't know it at the time, I knew I was very close, but I was busy celebrating two back to back near 10 minute miles. I wasn't extremely uncomfortable and ready to die, which means this faster pace is getting comfortable. This means I can push myself a bit more, and go even faster. I went inside and plugged in my Garmin. There it was, by just one second, I'd managed negative splits. One second meant the world to me, and even though it was only 2 miles, it's the start of something fabulous. That fabulous came tonight.

If last night's mindset was good, tonight's was the exact opposite. Wanting to get a 3rd run in for the week, and wanting to test myself on two back to back runs(since I am registered for the Glass Slipper Challenge in February, the Enchanted 10k on Saturday and the Princess Half Marathon on Sunday), I'd made up my mind that I would be running tonight as well. But my mood sure was poor. I'd had a busy day(cleaning, laundry, feeding kids, work, oil change, grocery shopping), the mister had me less than pleased with his not so  busy day(sleeping late, watching tv, playing computer games, napping on the couch), add in 2 fighting older children and 1 beast of a toddler and by the time it came time to head out for a run, I had to force myself to do it, and only then by telling myself that I HAD to get out of the house before I lost it. When I stepped out the door, I wasn't even sure if I'd run the whole way. Part of me said I'd just walk a few miles, another part said maybe I'd go slow or do intervals. I had absolutely no desire to push myself tonight. I didn't bring my music because I was overstimulated from my day, I didn't need that noise. I turned the virtual pacer off on my watch. I just decided to run.

At first, I was still annoyed. The constant presence of music during my runs has apparently been preventing me from hearing the slapping of my arm fat against my body. I ran, slap, slap, slap. I grew more annoyed. Should have brought music, I thought. Running at dusk in the summer also brings bugs. Being a mouth breather while running brings bugs in your mouth. Still more annoyed. The first mile passed and I was at 10:23. Not too bad actually. I was hoping for somewhere around 11, so to be still under that despite of the arm fat slapping and the bugs in my mouth, I felt the tension subside. I went back up the hill, feeling like I was slowing down. Oh well, no negatives tonight, it's cool, just get home. But then the second mile passed, and I was at 10:11. NEGATIVE again!! I pushed it back up the last hill and brought it home strong. I did another .36 miles and if I would have kept up that pace for a complete 3rd mile, it would have gone down again.

The thing I like best about tonight's run is how even my pace was through the entire distance. Up hill, down hill, flat, I kept pace. This is something I've always been bad at. I can run a 7 minute mile down hill, but a 13 minute mile up hill. Even last night's run had a pattern, speed up, slow down, speed up, slow down. So I'm quite pleased at the pace control. But I'm not done with my negative split goals. Next up, negative splits over 3 miles.

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