There’s only one way to describe Saturday’s run: I felt like a rockstar.
Let me set the stage for you:
It was a gorgeous spring morning, cool and calm. Barely a breeze.
I was well-hydrated and very well-rested.
My legs were happy (I think my training schedule is playing out nicely, more on that in a minute).
I was ready to run, mind, body and soul.
…the only thing missing? This guy:
My running partner-in-crime and favorite running “coach” ever? Yeah, he was battling cold #45 of the season (I guess his coworkers were right to warn him that his first year teaching he’d be sick the whole year…they weren’t kidding!). I had to force him not to join me, the stubborn guy that he is. It also forced me to get out of my comfort zone and face down our first longer half marathon training run solo.
For those of you who know me particularly well, you know that I typically don’t love to run alone outside. This was uncharted territory for me.
But oddly enough? I felt really ready for it. I’ve been facing down fears and getting uncomfortable all over the place so far in 2012, why not face down another one with this run? That’s sort of how I tackled it in my mind. I was putting my game face on, a “face” I’m getting more and more comfortable wearing. I’ve decided, I kinda like “her.”
After gearing up in my lightweight running tights (it was about 40 degrees when I left the house), a long sleeve running top and another layer on top of that, I grabbed a package of honey stingers — remembering my promise to all of you last week re: fueling! — and off I went.
I quickly warmed up, got settled at the top of the hill (our “starting point” for basically every run we do) and off I went (no “kiss for luck” kiss…boy did I miss that!). Immediately, I knew this was going to be a good run. My legs were so, so, so happy. I was humming along, my mind going in a million different directions, I was in the zone.
I kind of chuckled to myself at how quickly my mind jumped from topic to topic — at one point even thinking to myself that I ought to do these solo runs more often. If only to relieve Scott of my constant “notes to self” style chatter I’m always barraging him with when we run (and basically anytime of day, running or not). He might appreciate the peace and quiet now and then. <grin>
But anyway, I was running along, happy to be tackling the miles — running one of our favorite routes ever. As I ran, I mentally plotted out when I’d take some fuel in. I decided to start fueling at around mile 4, at the top of a sneaky little hill right after a bridge that takes you over the ocean near our house (which looked like glass on Saturday, so calm and peaceful…made me wish I had my phone with me to snap a pic!). And then I’d fuel again after the turnaround (again after a sloping, sneaky hill) and if I needed a third, I’d take one before the last 2 mile out-and-back near our house. At first, I felt kind of silly fueling this way — wondering if I really”needed” the fuel or if it was just a mind game. But, as I neared each of those points on the route, I found that taking in the fuel was helping keep my energy levels consistent and my pace strong and solid. It also made the miles go by faster because I started looking forward to the next honey stinger chew (tasty little suckers!).
Before I knew it — I was into the last mile, a sloping hill down and up before turning around to head back to the house. I was stunned by how great I felt. One of those “I could run for hours” feelings — and I honestly could’ve kept going for another mile or two or three but knew Scott would be waiting and worrying if I didn’t get back to the house (he seriously was by the door when I got home, ready to come out to find me if I didn’t get back soon, he’s so cute…).
I walked into the house, gave him a giant hug and thought to myself:
Rockstar. Yes, indeed.
This run solidified for me that this training plan of mine is working very, very well for me. The two days on, two days off style of running is really giving my legs the time to run and recover in between cycles. High five to me for finding a training cycle I can really get behind – fine lines and all. 😉
This run also reminded me just how much I love, love, love to run — for every challenging run or series of runs, a run like this — a rockstar run — makes it all worth it. Always.