I would just like to state, for the record, that I love my neighborhood. I had another fabulous running conversation this morning that rocked my world. I was running a little bit late and didn’t have time to do an extensive threshold workout, so I figured I’d run 1 mile warm up, 3 at HMP and 1 cool down. I usually like 2 miles to warm up, but my lollygagging made that impossible. Anyway, I started out at about my marathon pace and found that as my legs warmed up I was actually just below my threshold pace and holding it easily. So I went with it and changed my workout to a progression run that started at MP and got progressively faster with the last 1/2 mile at 5k pace. Anyway, back to my point. Around mile 1.5 I came up on 2 older (40s or 50s) guys who were clearly seasoned runners moving at a decent clip. I came up beside them to pass and one of the guys said to me, “whoa! what’s the hurry? where are you going?” I responded with “tempo Thursday!” and then we chatted for about .4 miles about my race plans for the near and distant future.
Turns out that this guy has run 23 marathons and a few sub 3 hour races in his time. He looked at my running and said, “you should be able to run a 3:40 marathon easily. You are selling yourself short. Run faster.” This is the 3rd stranger to tell me this while running in a week. (Oh my favorite part? He asked what college I had run for. Um buddy, not sure I could even run a mile in college!) It’s like someone is trying to tell me something. He gave me a few other great nuggets of wisdom (don’t go out too fast, don’t go out too fast, eat, don’t go out too fast) and we went our own separate ways. It was so encouraging. He asked about my PRs at various distances and told me, “You’re a great runner already. And you’re so young– you have nowhere to go but up if you run and train smart.” Not only did this remind me to keep my goals high, but it reminded me that I need to encourage other runners, too. Like I said yesterday we never know when our words are going to give someone the push that they need to enter a race or pick a goal that seems just out of reach. So often I am afraid to reach out and encourage my fellow runners and I need to get over that. I mean, I don’t know this guy at all, may or may not see him again and he just totally gave me the boost that I need.
I was surprised how good I felt this morning. I’ve had a pretty intense couple of weeks of training and it’s hot. I think I need to back it off next week and keep my mileage below 40 because in two weeks I start training for CIM in earnest. I’ve been thinking a lot about how seriously I want to take my training and how much I’m willing to sacrifice. Listening to Aron has made me question if I really want to go 100% hardcore, give up all drinking, constantly go to bed early, etc. I think it might backfire and cause me to panic on race day. So I think I might give myself some flex– have a glass of wine if I’m at happy hour with my people, not stress out about having a cookie… life is too short. Even Kara Goucher eats cookies!
I’m running a 5k a week from Saturday and I’m so excited. I think I have a PR in my legs and I really want to see if I can go sub-23. I know that I can, it’s just a matter of putting all of the pieces together and believing. It’s my favorite distance and I can’t wait to see what I can do.