'Cause sometimes you just feel tired,
Feel weak, and when you feel weak, you feel like you wanna just give up.
But you gotta search within you, you gotta find that inner strength
And just pull that shit out of you and get that motivation to not give up
And not be a quitter, no matter how bad you wanna just fall flat on your face and collapse.
--Eminem, 'Till I Collapse
I love these Eminem lyrics. They basically describe my entire weight loss, and now how I feel when I run hard. Especially running the last 8 miles or so of a marathon ;)
And this morning, I somehow "pulled that shit out" and reached two huge milestones during my run--I ran a sub-26:00 5k, and I ran a sub-8:00 mile!
The sub-26:00 5k has been a goal of mine for over two years. When I first started running, and my speed was improving, I made a goal to run a sub-30:00 5k. I reached that goal while I was training for my first 5k race, so I changed my goal. Renee said that she was "absolutely sure" that I was run a sub-26:00 5k at the race (October 2010). That seemed impossible to me, but I did a practice one in about 26:40 ish--can't remember exactly. So I went into the race with the expectation to run it under 26 minutes.
And I finished in 27:17. The race was super crowded, so I wasn't able to run the same speed I did during my practice race. After doing longer distances, I realized that I despised the 5k distance. But I couldn't get that goal of running it under 26 minutes out of my head. The next 5k race I ran was in March 2012, and it definitely wasn't the right race to try for time. It was (again) really crowded. I finished in 26:57.
Because I don't like 5k races, I just haven't tried again since. But now that I've been working on speed again, I've been thinking that I would register for a 5k in a month or two, and do my best to reach that sub-26 goal.
This morning, I had 3 miles at race pace (9:00/mi) on the schedule. I set up my Virtual Racer on my Garmin at that pace, and just decided to do my best to stay ahead of the VR. After the first mile, I saw that I ran it in 8:31. So I figured I could slow down a little, but was kind of excited to see that pace, so just kept with it. Second mile done in 8:34.
I started thinking about how that was really close to my 5k pace, and it would be fun to finish with my fastest time yet. Then I could hear a little voice telling me, "You can hit your sub-26 goal if you push really hard". I decided to unofficially try for it--run hard, and hope that I could manage to run fast enough to make the average pace go down to 8:23/mi. It was HARD, but I kept telling myself that it would be over in about eight minutes.
That last mile had me reach another running milestone--I ran the entire mile in 7:54!! I've never run a mile that fast. I think my fastest up until today was probably about 8:15-8:25. I kept running to finish out the 0.1 in order to hit 5 kilometers rather than just 3 miles, and I finished in 25:44 :)
I can't cross this off my goal list just yet, since it wasn't a race; but now I'm extremely confident going into a race and reaching for that goal!
After I showered, I rewarded myself with a super yummy breakfast--English muffin with Nutella :) I put Nutella alone on one half, and Nutella + peanut butter on the other half. Both halves were so good I can't decide which was better.
Today has been a very confidence-boosting day. I think days like this make all the really tough days worth it. When I was losing weight, I so badly wanted to quit sometimes, because it was exhausting--but then I would have a day where I saw some awesome progress (wear a smaller size, reach a weight milestone, wrap a bath towel ALL the way around me...) And during running, all the runs that I bitched and moaned about and just really didn't want to do, eventually came to a head and I had an amazing run or race and just felt on top of the world.
Days like this are few and far between, but that's what makes them so exciting!
...Until my legs
Give out from underneath me
I will not fall,
I will stand tall,
Feels like no one could beat me.
--Eminem, 'Till I Collapse