I had another spectacular workout this morning. It was one of those rare workouts where my legs felt amazing– fast, light and ready to go from start to finish. First of all, the weather is absolutely perfect right now. Cold, sunny and beautiful. The daffodils and tulips have popped up, the birds are singing, the grass is green, the sky is blue and it’s simply gorgeous out. I love spring.
Anyway, this morning called for 2 miles of warm up, mile strides, 2 miles at 5k pace then 4×400 as hard as you can, 2.5 miles cool down. I’ve never done this particular workout before and so I was a little apprehensive since 2 miles hard followed by 400s seemed like grounds for puking. I warmed up, did my strides (aren’t you proud? I hate those things) and told myself, go!
I completed the 2 miles at 7:40 pace and then experimented with 400s. And guys? I ran the fastest 400s of my life. 1:38s. Now, compared to some that’s not speedy. But it is 6 seconds/lap faster than last week and 4 seconds faster than ever before. And although I was right and there was some dry heaving after the final lap, it was super satisfying. I can finally push myself to that “oh my gosh I’m flying and maybe going to puke but this is so fun but omg I’m going to puke” place.
After CIM I think I was more burned out physically and mentally than I realized. I just didn’t have the drive to push myself to the point of dry heaving anymore and I simply wasn’t interested in getting faster. After a couple of months of fighting with injuries and then fighting my way back to fighting weight I am finally starting to see the rewards. And it feels great.
As I’ve progressed I’m realizing that I now have to measure PRs in seconds, not minutes. My days of chopping off whole minutes from PRs are long gone but improvement is so much sweeter now because I have to fight that much harder for it. And now that I have a little more experience I know that improvement is not linear. You break through, plateau, work your ass off, break through, plateau, work hard… repeat.
And I’m having fun with running again. I’ve realized that no one other than me and maybe my coach cares if I PR and there really is no pressure to constantly be faster. Yes, I want to improve and yes, that will probably happen soon but at the end of the day, why do I run? I run to enjoy those daffodils and tulips and perfect blue sky, to know the feeling of my heart burning in my chest as I’ve completed the fastest 400 in my life and for the joy of being alive, healthy and moving. Running is my privilege and not a burden. And I love it.