This morning I had 8 miles on the schedule. PT told me to do it at a good pace, but not necessarily half marathon race pace. For me, that would be about 8:15-8:20. I did not think this was going to be a pretty run. I was out really late, for me, last night, not getting home till 1 a.m; thus 6 a.m. did not sound like fun, so I pushed and slept a little later, 6:40 a.m. (so much better, I know). It was also supposed to be cold which I was not too excited about. Actually all I wanted to do was sit around or go for a really long slooow run and chat with Robin. I did not think my legs had it in me and really did not want to experiment with all different running gear like the iFitness Belt or my ankle sleeve. But a run date is a run date and I was not going to bail on my favorite runner especially when she was willing to tack on two extra miles to her crazy running week for me.
Fast forward to 8 a.m. run date, and yes it was kind of cold, but not bad at all. So off we went with Robin as a pacer. My Garmin was hidden in my massive gloves, so we let Robin take the lead. Almost immediately, she told me that we could slow down to which I replied thank goodness and we slowed...sorta. And then it happened again she mentioned that we could slow down. I smiled with relief and we slowed until Robin shouted out the pace of the first mile - 8:05 pace. Ooopps a bit fast and I reminded us how positive splitting would not do much. We tried to be conscious of the pace as we pressed on up the 3 mile hill (it is pretty much a slow incline from hell in my book). I thought it would slow us down, but apparently, not us - 8:11, 8:09, 7:49. It was amazing!! I mean in the sense that it hurt like hell and I wanted to stop but we kept going.
We turned around at Mile 4 and had the slight advantage of the downhill kicking out 7:52, 7:50, 7:54. Robin kept letting us know we could slow down but we just kept going. I was not really looking at my watch at all with it covered in my gloves so I just kept running and pushing and let Robin handle the rest (thank you so much Robin for being an awesome pacer).
Somewhere in the last 1.25 miles, I began to feel great. I felt light, airy, and like I could maintain mid 7 pace. I yelled at Robin to keep up with me as it was her turn to fall just a moment behind. She reminded me oh so nicely how today was her recovery run and that I was going to have to pick her up off the road during her 19(?) miler tomorrow - dually noted Robin. But then she saw a runner in the distance and we got competitive, as normal, when she remarked:
well. he is wearing all neon orange so he asked for it
I knew what that meant. It was time for us to chick this guy who was almost three-quarters of a mile ahead of us (don't judge me please for being a competitive runner freak). This is where it got hard for me and easy for Robin. She pushed, I fell behind. But she would not let me give up so I kept at it, huffing and puffing all the way past the runner to end our last mile at a 7:36 pace and major grins from ear to ear.
Did I ever mention that I love having running partners? So there you have it. An amazing run. Was it easy? NO! Was it amazing? Yes. Did I do it without much look into my Garmin? Yes!!! Am I still smiling about these negative splits? HELL YA. Will I go a sub-4 marathon some day soon? You better bet on it!!
At end of our run, Robin looked at her Garmin and asked me
She explained that if I just did those 8 miles at that pace in Vegas and then ran the last miles of that race at a 9 minute mile pace I still would have PR'd. So what happen? Why could I just kick this run's ass (too much cursing today sorry) but during Vegas not even contemplate seeing a sub-8 mile? Maybe I had a bad day? Maybe, dare I say it, it was the water (lol)? Maybe it was the night race? Or maybe it is just me.....
How could it really be that bad when you have this guy as your personal pit-crew? Crazy Bitch dri-fit tee shirts are ordered and going on sale soon! Let me know if you are interested (guy and girl shirts, styled respectively, both dri-fit)
Enough for now, I need to ponder this some more. Check back with me this week for follow up thoughts and a SWEEPSTAKES from Skinsake.