FINALLY a post about running!
Well...sort of anyway.
A dear friend invited me to a little fun run in her neighborhood. I wasn't sure if I would try to run or help out or just cheer everyone on. I woke up at 2am and didn't even try to go back to sleep based on how I was feeling (wide awake!). I was supposed to be there about 7am with a start time of 7:30. As is always the case when I wake up exceptionally early, I got a TON of stuff done while losing track of time! I looked at the clock, while still in my jammies, at 6:30 and panicked a little thinking there was no way I would make it out there in time. But, I'm the queen of last minute. I was there by 6:53.
I still wasn't sure if I would try to run it. I haven't run more than a mile in over a month (I thought it was longer than that but my data is showing me otherwise!)
At about the last minute I decided to just run and see what happened. I gave myself the idea when I started that I could stop at any time I needed to but my goal was going to be to run the whole time no matter how slow it ended up being. There were some walkers behind me so I knew I would not be holding anyone up and I wouldn't finish dead last (although someone has to, it doesn't have to be me).
Without fanfare or fluff, they started the clock and we were off. I stayed within myself and just started running nice and easy. Well...that's not exactly true. I started off at a pace I knew was just a bit fast for where I knew I would end up...a blazing 9:45 pace! I slowed way down by looking at my heart rate and keeping it (at first) at about 140ish. After about 8 minutes, I couldn't keep it under 145 so I switched focus to my breathing. Although I couldn't breathe through my nose (working just a little too hard for that), I could have talked and carried on a breathy conversation if there had been anyone to talk to.
Mile 1--10:53, HR range from 81-150, pace range was 10:54-9:55
About that time I was feeling like I usually do when I come to the end of what my body is used to. I've only been running about a mile at a time for the last month. (To be clear, I have only run four times in the last month.) My body was saying "hey...we are at the end of this running thing...remember when you said you'd stop if you needed to...this is your body saying you probably need to walk or stop or lay down in the grass." I checked in head to toe and I laughed it off because I've heard all that before and I already knew it wasn't true. Instead of walking, stopping or laying down in the grass, I focused on my form, my breathing, and my sheer delight in the fact that my body was strong enough to move forward at a running gait. I said prayers of thanks that I could RUN.
Mile 2--11:03, HR range 146-165, pace range was 11:03-10:36
I was THRILLED I was on mile 3 but I was watching my heart rate continue to rise. Every time there was even a slight elevation change I could feel it. There was one "hill" (gradual incline). Interestingly enough I never even gave a second thought to getting up that little rise in the road. I was too close to making my "run the whole thing" goal and my body felt too good to walk at that point. I was breathing heavier than I would have liked and my HR was up, but I didn't hurt and I could still talk.
After that little incline, I could see what I believed was the final turn. I knew I had about .4 to go, and a nice little downhill before the turn. I knew the finish was pretty flat (maybe slightly down) but I didn't want to start speeding up too soon and flame out before the finish line! But did start speeding up a little bit at that point reminding myself this was a fun run and there was no pressure so if I flamed out, so be it. So as I came down the hill and rounded the corner, I started picking up the pace a good bit.
As I got closer to the finish I saw two guys on the tri team I coach and asked them to come run the finish with me. I could still talk but my HR was over 180 at that point!
Mile 3--9:58, HR range 153-181, pace range was 9:58-8:29.
When mile 3 ticked off on my watch I was in full on PUSH mode, sprinting with teenage brothers on either side of me. I was just praying I didn't trip! I usually have a pretty decent finish line kick, but I never felt like I was getting there. I actually felt surprisingly smooth although I have no doubt I didn't look smooth!
Mile 3.1--:40, HR range 182-185, pace range was 6:49-5:25!
Finish time was 32:35 (10:31 average pace, average HR 152). It was not my slowest 5K but it was my slowest "race" in like 6 years. But I have a BRAIN DISEASE, that has to count for something!
Seriously, that run was what I think I needed to remind me that this thing going on in my head is not ...
I don't know what it's not. Killing me? Taking what I love away from me? Defining me? I don't know.
There might come a day when I can't run 3.1 miles, but that day was not today!! (I may or may not have come home to take a nap, but I have also been up since 2am, so that's perfectly understandable!)
Thanks for stopping in. It's so good to be writing about TRAINING instead of brain stuff...mostly anyway.
Before I go, let me take a step back and just look at some stats for the last several months.
In March, April and the seven days of May we have had, I have run about 5.5 hours total. I ran over double that in the months of January, February, and November and over triple that (almost four times that amount of time) in both October and December. In the last 30 days I haven't run more than about a mile (1.2). The last time I ran more than a mile, it was 3.1 on March 31st at a pace of 11:37. Mid-March, when I was trying to hold onto hope I could run McKay I had 2 "long" trail runs of 6 miles (at a pace of 16:21) and 5 miles (11:51 pace) within a few days of each other. In the last 60 days I have run a total of 25 miles (not including today).
Today's 5K was a MAJOR achievement. I think I might have to go get a cupcake from Mason Dixon. ...a Gluten free, egg free, dairy free, soy free, vegan Root Beer cupcake.
|This was the one I had Tuesday to "celebrate" the end of Whole 37 and to "celebrate" steroid treatments!|
Or maybe I won't used food to sooth my feelings this time.
Thanks for sticking around. :D