January 07, 2016

Don't think, just run.

We're going to head out to dinner for Eli's birthday soon, so I just have time to write a quick recap of my run this morning. Let me just start by saying that this weather we've had so far this winter has been PERFECT for running! Today, it was 32 degrees and sunny, no wind to speak of, and no snow or ice or anything on the ground--in JANUARY. It's awesome.

Anyway, last night, when I was looking at my training plan, I realized I had accidentally screwed something up when I was transferring the plan from one spot to another, and the run I thought I was doing today was much easier than what was actually listed. The correct schedule said that I was supposed to "Alternate 10 minutes easy with 10 minutes fast for 50 minutes". I read that as 2x(10 min easy, 10 min fast); 10 min easy.

The problem here is that the "fast" pace is supposed to be "faster than race pace" or 95% of your maximum heart rate. My race pace is 7:55/mile, and I haven't run a mile (outdoors) that fast in over two years. Two years, people! And I was going to have to do 10 minutes (roughly 1.25 miles) not just once, but TWICE? Might as well quit now, is what I was thinking last night.

Anyway, this morning was going to be crazy busy, because I had all kinds of errands to run while the kids were in school. I knew I could squeeze in my run if I did it right away, instead of procrastinating until 10:30 or so. I dressed in my running clothes and then drove Eli to school, because we made a birthday treat for him to share with his class. From his school, I just went to the Lake Erie Metropark to run. Did I mention the weather was awesome?

I was nervous, but I kept telling myself that if I couldn't hold the pace, then I would just do my best. Running my best would still help me improve. I started off with the 10 minutes at easy pace, and my heart rate was higher than normal because of my nerves. Haha! I still get nervous every time I have an "important" run. I tried to run super slow, so I didn't waste any energy. 

When my Garmin beeped to start the next segment, I started running hard--too hard--and then slowed it down. It took me a few minutes to settle on a pace. I wanted to stay as close to race pace as possible, without going faster, because I didn't want to burn out halfway through. 

It was hard. My breathing during easy runs is a four step inhale, three step exhale; but during fast runs like this, it's a two step inhale, one step exhale. I was glad I didn't see many people while I was running hard, because I sounded like I was going to keel over. I was surprised that the time was going by kind of quickly. When I do two-minute intervals, the time takes forever! But I could imagine at about what point at the park I'd get to stop, and I just kept repeating to myself, "Don't think, just run" (that's going to be my new mantra). 

My pace was on target, so when my watch timer said 17:55, I knew I'd just run a sub-8:00 mile for the first time in over two years. I was ecstatic! Had to keep running hard until the 20:00 mark, and then finally, my Garmin beeped to start my easy run. I walked for about five seconds, wishing I could walk the whole 10 minutes, but I made myself start jogging. Thankfully, the jogging time went by really slowly--usually, it's the opposite when I do intervals. I think I was just so nervous about the next hard run. I really didn't think I could do it--I barely made it through that first one!

I told myself that since I was able to hit pace for the first one, I could run tempo pace (8:22) for the second one. But, I knew I had at least two minutes left in me at race pace, because I do 2:00 intervals each week. When my watch beeped at 30:00, I started running hard again. Surprisingly, I hit the correct pace right away (actually, a little fast, at around 7:45). 

I figured I'd just hold that pace as long as I could. Eventually, I was telling myself, "Think how proud you'll be if you can finish this workout!"and "Just three minutes left!" "Just two minutes left!" etc. I was SO VERY EXCITED when I heard my Garmin beep. I slowed to a walk for a good 20 seconds or so, to catch my breath. 

I did it! I had actually hit pace for both of the 10:00 intervals. I slowly jogged back to the car, stopping several times to take pictures.

It was so gorgeous! I should have plucked my eyebrows for that photo. Anyway.

I did 1.27 miles for the first 10:00 segment, which was a 7:51 pace. And for the second 10:00 segment, I did 1.29 miles, good for a 7:46 pace! These numbers totally made my day. 

I haven't had a runner's high like this in a very, very long time. Smashrun even had some fun notables for me when I uploaded my run:

Needless to say, after today's "impossible" run, I am feeling much more confident that I may actually be able to pull off my PR goal. It felt so good today to push myself to the max, and aim for a goal that I didn't think I'd be able to do--and then DO IT. Don't think, just run ;)


  1. That's awesome! My self-talk is 'Cyndi, you can do it!' I've lost 87+ lbs in 2015 and I ran two 5ks! (i CAN do it!)

  2. Hooray!!!! Good job!

  3. Excellent! Inspiration for my run tomorrow!

  4. This is great! Thanks for inspiring me! ;)

  5. Woo hoo! Sounds like a good story for Motivation Monday! :)

  6. Way to go :) You ROCKED your run!!

  7. Hip HIp Hurray! You totally nailed that run!!!!

  8. Awesome job! I did hill repeats at 5K pace this morning and kept telling myself how proud I would be at the end. They sucked the life out of me but happy that I accomplished them! Love a strong training run.

  9. Great job! Sometimes our bodies can surprise us if we just let them go!

  10. YAY Katie!!! I freaking love this post. You killed that run!!! Awesome job!!! Also, I laughed out loud about how you should have plucked your eyebrows. I didn't even notice and then went back to look. LOL! They look fine to me, but what do I know. :) Congrats on the awesome run!

  11. I'm not to the running stage of my weight loss, but I can't wait to get there. I can use an elliptical trainer like nobody's business, and I guess the difference is it's lower impact. Anyway, I love the feeling I get when running on the elliptical, so I imagine that will only be magnified when make the transition to the outdoors. :)

  12. I was on the edge of my seat reading your recap--you write so well! :) I am SO happy for you! What an awesome accomplishment!

    Plus, the beautiful pictures made my heart happy. :)

  13. Way to go, Katie! As always, you're an inspiration. Really love the 'Don't think, just (blank)" mantra - I think I'll apply it to ANYTHING I'm struggling to get through. What a great feeling when you accomplish what you set out to do! Keep it up & the great posts, too. You motivate my day!

  14. Way to go, Katie! You're an inspiration. Really love your "Don't think, just (blank)" mantra - think I'll apply it to ANYTHING I need to struggle through; what an accomplishment when you complete your goal. Keep up the great work and super posts - you motivate our days!

  15. I love the "don't think, just run" I feel like it's slightly easier to do that outside. On the treadmill, I lift that darn towel up and peek way too often...need to just run and not think about or peek at the time/distance! Way to go!


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