With half marathon #7 quickly approaching, I am trying to get in a long-ish run each weekend between now and then. Not following a strict training plan going into this one, I’m just trying to keep my legs feeling fresh and strong. So far, so good. This past Sunday, I headed out to Memorial Causeway in Clearwater to run my most favorite running route. Hubby was tagging along with his bike to keep me company. Have I mentioned how much I love that he will ride his bike along with me while I run? He’s great company, my cheerleader. and we chit chat the whole time. Which, by the way, when did I become the person that can carry on a conversation while running? Back in the day, I couldn’t form words through all my huffing and puffing and here I am having actual conversations!
When I run my neighborhood and do 3 – 5 miles, I don’t always take walk breaks. I’ve gotten to the point where if I think I need a walk break, I can talk myself out of it for a bit. If it stays a nagging thought, I’ll take a quick one, and then off I go again. There is nothing wrong with walk breaks, I know this. But it is always my goal to run far more than walking every single time I go out there. I am constantly challenging myself. This MilePost running quote of the day from Sunday morning was fitting….
When I did my long runs for my last half marathon, I took walk breaks as needed. Those long runs are not about speed – they are all about endurance.
On Sunday, my run started off in the face of a crazy headwind that literally had tears running down my face. After I got over the bridge and a slight turn, the wind died down immensely and I wasn’t crying anymore. When I reached the normal point that I would take a quick walk break, I just kept running. I didn’t realize at that moment that I had just challenged myself to run the whole route without a walk break. It wasn’t until mile 3 that I pointed out to hubby that I had not taken a walk break and it was my goal not to. For the whole 6.25 miles. None. Nada. Zip. Zilch.
It actually felt great. I never once felt like I had to take a walk break. I was running a nice pace, one that is comfortable to me. When I finished mile 5, I realized I had a couple negative splits and I wasn’t surprised because the run just felt great. Overachiever that I am, I aimed for one more negative split.
Negative splits are an awesome thing. In case you don’t know what a negative splits are, it simply means running the second half of an interval or an entire run or race at a faster speed.
What makes this even more awesome? My first mile included the Memorial Bridge, right at the start of my run. Mile 6, my best pace for a full mile, had me running back over Memorial Bridge. After running 5 miles leading up to this. With a crazy head wind the first mile. and tears running down my face. And a couple of negative splits even before this.
Needless to say, I was pretty darn proud of myself. In discussing this with hubby, he told me he wasn’t surprised I did it, that I do anything I set my mind to (I’m telling you, he’s the best cheerleader ever!) and that he thinks I sell myself short sometimes. I love his confidence in me.
After some stretching, we headed to the store to stock up for the week. I had a bunch of food prep to do and I was seriously starving for breakfast. Reason number 2761 that hubby is the greatest ever and just gets me, he suggested BLT’s for breakfast. Bacon? YES!!! And while I am all about eating healthy – most of the time – I am not even going the route of turkey bacon. No sir, this girl requires REAL bacon. I ran 6.53 miles, I deserve bacon, REAL bacon. And boy oh boy, was it good.
I can’t wait until Feb. 1, to run the Best Damn Race Half Marathon in Safety Harbor. Did I mention that it’s the day before my birthday? And I will earn this awesome medal….
How many of you local folks will I see out there? Be sure to let me know! And, if you haven’t registered yet, there is still time. You can save $5 with my discount code NANCIC. Click here to register!
Tell me one running goal you are working towards!