I had a very slow month in August when it came to running. Lots of out of town trips; lots of days with over 90 degree temperatures with 900% humidity; given enough time, I'm sure I could come up with more excuses. But this week I decided to change it and get back into my "training". Not that I'm training for anything in particular. (Although there is an awesome trail run at the end of October that I want to do. Walked the 4.5 mile walk last year - want to run the 8 mile run this year (or maybe I should go for the 13.... Lately I've got it in my head that I want to do a half marathon...) Anyway.... I digress)
So last Sunday evening I was going back over my runs on the Nike+ running website, and I noticed that I started slacking off after July 29, when I met my goal to do 30 miles in a week. I figured that since I'd conquered 30 miles in a week, I deserved a break and could take it easy. I neglected to set another goal, which resulted in the next few weeks being really short on miles. I went days without going out and doing anything... (For comparison's sake - in July I did 25 runs/walks, for a total of 93.99 miles; in August I did 16 runs/walks, for a total of 59.53 miles; not terrible, but not great either). It dawned on me Sunday that I really need a goal to work toward, or I just kind of play around aimlessly.
Who would've thunk that a simple setting on a computer would keep me on track and inspire me to push myself to work harder and stronger? If I failed to live up to the goal, nobody would know but me. And I think that's the main reason it works so well. I don't want to let myself down. I keep the goals realistic so I can meet them; hard enough that I have to work for it, but not so difficult that I stress out and push myself harder than I can handle.
So on Sunday, I set a goal for myself to run/walk 25 miles this week. After several weeks of only running 2 or 3 times with an average mileage of about 10 miles, I have to admit I was a little intimidated by it. The first long run on Monday and short run on Tuesday went ok. But on Wednesday, when it was time for a long run again, I was ready to give up. I was tired; i wasn't feeling too great; it was just blah. I did the miles, but that's the only good thing I can say about it.
I was so not into running after Wednesday's outing that I was ready to skip Thursday's run all together. But as the day went on on Thursday, I changed my mind. I wanted to go out and give it another shot. The schedule called for a short, one lap circuit of the neighborhood (about 1.15 miles, give or take a couple 0.01s.) If it was tough and crappy at least it wouldn't last very long. Bad attitude to have at the start of a run. But the running gods were smiling on me. It was fairly cool and it felt like my feet had wings. The uphill part was tough (as usual) but it didn't seem to slow me down much. My husband, who rides his skateboard with me on the short runs, had trouble keeping up with me (which hardly ever happens). I get home and check the ipod. Fastest. Mile. Ever!!! 10 minute mile, baby. Woo hoo! I glowed over my accomplishment for quite a while.
Today was another long run day. After a long day at work (which marked the end of a long, busy week), I didn't know how well I do on the run. I set off a little slow to pace myself because I knew I had 5 miles to finish. But as I went on, I realized I was feeling great. Again, I felt like my feet had wings and I was flying. My walk breaks were shorter; my running sections were faster and longer. It was awesome. Got home and stopped the ipod, heard the run details, and jumped for joy. 5.25 miles in less than an hour! 11:07/mile pace. Fastest.Long run.Ever!!!!
So my week started out just ok, went all the way down to awful, and then went way back up to spectacular! If wasn't for that pesky goal I had set for myself, I probably would've given up on the week after Wednesday's bad day. And just think of what I would have missed if I'd done that! So next week, I'll definitely be setting another a goal. And I'm totally hoping that I can keep those wings on my feet and keep up the pace.
Here's the week's mileage:
Monday - 6.52 mile run (11:37/mile) + 1.75 mile walk = 8.26 miles
Tuesday - 1.17 mile run (10:09/mile) + 1.12 mile walk = 2.29 miles
Wednesday - 6.02 mile run (11:51/mile) + no walk = 6.02 miles
Thursday - 1.14 mile run (10:00/mile) + 2.3 mile walk = 3.44 miles
Friday - 5.26 mile run (11:07/mile) + 1.16 mile walk = 6.42 miles
Total miles = 26.43