......Every race I finish is a win in my books. This past weekend I ran the Luv2Run Boston 5K Saturday. It was drizzling and cold and I really didn't feel like doing it, but I was already up and dressed and I drove all the way to Brighton so I did it. I figured it's just 3 miles and it would be a good speed workout. There weren't many people there and it was kind of informal, no timing chips, no start gun, just ready set go. I started out easy and when my garmin beeped for the first mile I was surprised to see 8:55 for my pace. Sweet, hold onto that, I thought. Not too bad. Beep! 8:25 for mile 2! Awesome, keep it up, finish strong, don't bonk now, just one more mile. I picked up the pace and pushed myself. Leave nothing on the course, let's see what you got, all out, you can rest when it's over. I saw the finish line and the clock and some numbers I haven't seen in a long time......25:40 when I crossed the line. My last mile was 8:00!
I'm finally getting my speed back. That was the fastest 5K I've done since I got hit by the car last June! And I paced it perfectly. I really could not have run a more perfect race. I felt good and ran perfect negative splits. I thought that because of the small crowd I might actually place. I stuck around for the awards and when they called the top 3 for 30-39 women my name was not in the list, oh well, I didn't care. The pacing and strong finish and super fast time for me was a WIN. Turns out I was 8th place out of 15, my age group is fast!
Sunday, I had planned an 18 mile training run. Kim and Shannon wanted to run with me so they planned to meet me about 7 miles into the run and do the last part of it with me. My 18 miler is super hilly. Especially the last part of it. I warned them. I started out the run nice and easy and tried to hold back a little knowing I had a ways to go, but excited that Kim and Shannon were meeting me part way in I was excited and it was tough to ease into it. For some reason, I was running in my head a lot. Can't put my finger on what was bothering me, but I didn't feel great. Physically I was fine, but mentally I was struggling.
Just after mile 7 I spotted Kim and Shannon on the horizon. I instantly got a boost of energy. The first 5 miles were a little rough, but then I settled into a comfortable pace and felt ok. Once I met up with Shannon and Kim, I kept the pace and we continued on the route through Andover and Tewksbury. Over the hills and back to Lowell. Kim wanted to make their run an even 12 miles so we added on a little at the end. They had joined me for an extra mile a few weeks back and were nice enough to meet me in the middle of this run so I stayed with them for the last mile and a bit. It ended up being 19 total for me. I felt great. I totally could have done another 7 miles. And at the pace I held for the run I would have been under 4:30 for a marathon. I'll take it!
Sunday night I didn't sleep at all and Monday I woke up feeling really off. I went to work, but ended up going home early. I put my PJs back on and rested on my couch, but just as I was about to doze off, my heart rate spiked and raced and pounded. So, annoying. I was so exhausted I felt like I was going to vomit and I couldn't fall asleep. I finally fell asleep around noon and I was out cold. I woke up and thought it might be 1:00 or 2:00, it was almost 6:00pm! I made some dinner and went to bed. Guess I needed the rest.
Anyway, aside from the off day Monday the last week has been pretty awesome. I've spent some time reflecting on the last 5 years and how far I've come and all the accomplishments and all the things I still want to do. It's so amazing. Proof that anything is possible when you stop making excuses and start living. The possibilities really are endless. I can't wait to see what obstacles I conquer next and what accomplishments are in my future. 46 days until Shires of Vermont marathon, 59 days until the first triathlon of the season, 158 days until Pumpkinman Half Ironman, 186 days until Chicago rematch, 276 days until Goofy 2013......but who's counting.