Anyway, I decided to try and run two miles. I didn't want to mess with the run/walk method that I did last time, because I have no intentions of doing runs longer than six miles (at least for a very long time). I don't have a "deadline" that I am trying to hit (like an upcoming race), so I can take my time and build up mileage slowly. I figured I'd just run what I could.
After I got the kids off to school yesterday morning, I decided to head out for the run before I chickened out. I wore the new Brooks Ghost shoes, because they were so comfortable when I tried them on and wore them to cross country practice. I started my Garmin and began running down the street.
I couldn't believe how DIFFERENT it felt. I'm going to try to describe this the best that I can...
The last time I ran was six weeks ago, when I was 155 pounds--and even then, I was doing the run/walk method. The last time I really ran a couple of miles straight I was probably 160-ish. I stopped running for six whole weeks, and in that time, I've dropped down to 144. Normally, when you run to help with weight loss, you don't feel the difference that the weight loss makes, because it's so gradual. You continue to run as you drop a pound or two each week, and you have no idea how the weight loss really affects your running.
Because I started losing weight right when I stopped running, I didn't have that gradual adjustment. I ran a few miles at 160-ish, and then ran again at 144. Holy smokes! I felt like I was FLYING yesterday. Imagine running around holding two gallons of milk (16 pounds), and then setting them down and running again--that's what it felt like to me. My feet felt like they were barely touching the ground, and like I was running on clouds. I'm not really sure how else to describe it.
It was awesome. I was tempted to run farther than two miles, but I didn't want to overdo it. The last time I ran at least two miles without walking or stopping was probably in April for the marathon relay. My pace was 11:27/mile, and it felt SO hard. I really wasn't even sure I could make it through my leg of the relay.
Yesterday, I didn't want to look at my pace, because I didn't want to get discouraged; so I'd set my Garmin to show just my distance. When I got home, then, you can imagine my surprise to see that I'd run a 9:47/mile pace! The first mile was 9:54 and the second was 9:39. This was after six weeks of not running a single minute.
I'd read in numerous places that weight loss can make a difference in your pace, and there are ways to calculate about how much of a difference it can make. I read the book Racing Weight (Amazon affiliate link), which talks about your ideal weight for running, and I do believe that dropping weight can make you faster. But yesterday was all the proof I needed! I'm not even back down to my ideal racing weight yet, but I already feel a million times better when I run.
Best of all, I didn't have any ankle issues the entire run, so I'm very happy about that. Later in the day, I felt a few twinges, but no pain. I'm hoping that's normal. I'm going to make sure to only run every other day (I won't do two days in a row), and keep the distances short--right now, 2-3 miles is good for me.
I was extremely sore when I woke up this morning! I never used to get sore from running, because my body was so used to it; but this past year has been so out of the norm that I'm not surprised. I felt a runner's high all day from that simple two miles. And now, knowing how much better it feels to run at a lower weight, I'm even more motivated to get back down to my ideal running weight. I would love to work on PR'ing my 5K and 10K next year, and I don't think I can do that without dropping the extra weight.
Anyway, that simple two miles yesterday really fired me up again into an "I love running!" mode. Haha, we'll see how long that lasts ;) I still plan to ride my bike for the rest of the season, and then I'm not sure what cross training I'll do during the winter. Maybe I'll take swimming lessons to learn how to swim for real (ha! Not likely, but always a possibility).