Days like today are the reason why you get out there and run the crappy days. I've been feeling bad about my running here lately. I've been averaging 2 runs a training week the last. . . well, might as well say 3 weeks, since I'm not getting another done this week, and the last couple runs in particular I've felt like if anything, I'm losing ground rather than gaining it. I should be wrapping up Week 9 right about now, and I hadn't even completed a Week 8 workout yet! But tonight, everything just sort of. . . fell together. I was starting to be afraid I wouldn't get out there tonight, and this run was really important to me. It's been 2 days since my last one, and there're only 2 more until my 5K in Rolla on Monday. I REALLY didn't want to go out tomorrow, and only have 1 day of recovery before Monday! That's fine for training, but not for an event where I'm going to ask more of myself than usual, and in an unfamiliar setting where I have no control over the course or other conditions. And to top it off, as I was heading out of the parking lot, this HUGE flash of lightning, with giant crack of thunder right on top of it, lit up the sky. I thought (for a second) about going back and calling it off. Then, I thought again. Remembered how important this run was to me, and guaged the weather. Didn't really seem like it was going to last. And it didn't. One more flash of (more subdued) lightning, and a little light rain, was all I had to deal with! Couldn't have asked for more perfect conditions, really. Moist and cool, just the way I like it best, with (again) the scent of honeysuckle to help you really enjoy all that breathing. :-) I decided I was going to try for the 28 min mark tonight. I didn't start my Garmin until after my warm-up, b/c I wanted an even more realistic read on my time for race conditions. As I approached 28, I was feeling pretty good, so I decided I was going to try for 30. Once I hit 30, I decided to keep going as long as I could. What I was thinking of most as I ran tonight (especially the tougher moments) is a quote from a shirt I've decided I want.
"I run because I can. When I get tired, I remember those who can't run, what they'd give to have this simple gift I take for granted and I run harder for them. I know they would do the same for me."
So tonight, I ran for those who can't. At the 32-min mark (and an uphill grade, lol), I took a couple minutes walk break, then started running again. My intention from this point was to run/walk the rest of the 5K, but somehow, I never got around to walking anymore! The last bit was a bit of a push to finish, but by that point, I knew I could do it, and could see no point in giving up so close to the end! I actually finished the distance running a couple loops around the sidewalks at my apartment complex, so when the Garmin hit 3.1, all that was left to do was drag my exhausted butt into the house, chug a bottle of Gatorade, choke down a spoonful of peanut butter, and stretch! My stomach was a little unsettled for a bit (think I downed the G'ade too fast), but I got over it pretty quickly, and when you consider that tonight I did so much more than I've ever done before, well, who's surprised? Oh, my official time for tonight's run? 44:05! Under my time goal for Monday by almost a minute! Of course, tonight was near perfect conditions, with a course I could decide on myself (in other words, mostly flat, lol). But this makes me feel great! I'm not nearly as nervous about Monday as I was before. I just can't believe how well this run went! On Cloud 9 here, and probably will be for a couple days, lol. People are apt to get tired of hearing about it, particularly my DM buds, who will bear the majority of the burden, since they "get it" and other people's eyes glaze over. :-) Doing a serious happy dance here!