So on to more normal talk, running, what else? Seriously. On Sunday, I had one of those runs were you just can't help but smile! Not those runs where it is effortless, but even better, one of those runs hwere it is hard! Where at Mile 3 you think you can't get any further, that you don't think you will make it. But you shut that part of your brain up and you suck it up and you just get through it. Where you just finish, ready to keel over (or maybe lose your pre-run fuel session) but can't stop smiling because you are full of that oh so elusive "runner's high."
Ok, what happened already? On Sunday, I set out to do 8 miles with Robin. I was going to do the first mile warmup by myself and 7 miles with Robin at her marathon pace - 8:08. I don't know about you all, but 8:08 for a few miles is fast let alone an entire freakin marathon! This lady is insane and pretty powerful and speedy. Needless to say, I was a little bit worried about keeping up with her - I even brought my iPod just in case she had to ditch me one mile in. Yes, that is how much I believed in my ability to run 7 miles at Robin's marathon pace. Ever since the marathon, I have been recovering slowly and I did not want to get my hopes up.
I did the first mile alone and it did not feel good. When Robin saw me she said I was speeding, I beg to differ, Garmin said 8:30 pace (not too speedy for me), but Robin promised I was going faster - ugh you win again Garmin! So off we went, the first mile was not so bad, but then we started on a gradual 3.5 mile uphill jaunt at ooh the 8:08 pace or below. It did not feel good. I could not talk. I wanted to stop. I told Robin just to go on, that I was never going to make it. She told me just to get about 1.5 miles more and we would be able to go down hill. I struggled, but I pressed on. Robin told me again that if we made it to Mile 6 we would slow down. So I kept going desperate to get to Mile 6.
Finally, we turned around. That messed me up. I needed to stop. It was something about the turn around that just made me have to stop for a second. So I did. But after a second, we moved on continuing below the 8:08 pace. Then something happened, I found my groove, my second wind whatever you want to call it, the fact was, I was able to keep going. And at Mile 6, I told Robin lets keep going. We could kick out the last two miles!! So we did!
Look I am flying!It was amazing, I felt like flying (minus the major need to stop it because it was too hard). We pushed harder. Each of us struggling at different times. I love that being in sync with your running partner means that you struggle at different times so you can encourage each other when you need it most. We were determined, we were ready, I even got visions of us cruising Boston on Marathon Day.
The last mile came quickly, and we saw other walkers and runners ahead of us. Almost as I thought it, Robin said it - good now we have people to tick off. Yay for competitive runners who have to win. We passed the walkers, no problem. The runners took a bit longer, but we passed them strong and fast. As we passed, I heard them talking - what are they doing? They look like they are racing! I could not have been prouder. Ok, now you all think I am crazy....what can I say, I am crazy Type-A runner,
And then we were done. And I did keel over (and no I did not toss my cookies). When I looked up, all I could do was smile. We kept at Robin's 8:08 pace with the last mile lower than 8 to get to 1:05 for the 8 miles. Was this my fastest 8 miles ever? No. But was it amazing, encouraging, and FUN? Hell Ya! And it is these days when you cannot love running anymore. I will say it before and I will say it again - Running MEANS Fun, Friends, Fitness....can't get much better!
Are you a competitive freak like Robin and I (sorry Robin)? Any flying high stories to share with me?
Yes I am recycling this picture. Dear Robin lets take more pictures together please