I’ve been running fairly consistently in the last 7-8 months. I did speed work up until mid-February, and have incorporated a good amount of hills into my training, too. Since I started leading a beginning runners class nine weeks ago I haven’t done the speed work, but I’ve been showing up for gradually lengthening weekend runs, with hills included.
Running with the newbies makes me feel pretty good. They go at a nice, gentle pace for me, so I chat along and don’t breathe very hard.
Running with the halfathon group has been good, in that their LSD (long slow distance) pace is slightly faster than I’d choose for a long time on my own, but their chatting and steady pace keeps me from surging too hard and crashing. In addition, I’ve been able to tag along without kicking up the distance dramatically; just tacking on 10 or 15 minutes more to it every couple of weeks.
Most of my runs lately have been in cold, wintery weather, so today, when the sun shone and promised a glorious, beautiful day, I excitedly packed my running belt and headed out to the reservoir to join the halfathoners. I had planned to run back along their loop (one out-and-back) and meet them at a certain point, then run through the Weaselhead with them, and then run back to my car (2nd out-and-back).
That should only take, what, 13-14k? Definitely within my current range. Well, except that I didn’t meet them where we meant to – I was too early (I know, shocker), so I ran back further along their route, which gave me over 18 km in total instead.
It didn’t really matter if I went a little further, because lately? in my running? I’ve felt INVINCIBLE! (Except for Thursday, when I didn’t, but I’m blocking that out. Shh.)
I can run forEVER! Right? What’s 40 more minutes than usual, in the grand scheme of things, really? With a couple of hills thrown in?
The part with the friends in it was great. I put in an effort, and they were very good at pulling me along. I really like that group, and hope to do many more runs with them. Before and after running with them I gave myself leave for some long walks, because I knew I was way beyond my 10% distance increase.
I did find a good, solid rhythm on my own in the last half hour once I got back out of the valley, but oh, I ached when I stopped. I still ache. It’s the kind of feeling that reminds me that I have limits. It makes me smile, because being able to find those limits and touch them, maybe even lean into them a little, is one of the reasons I run.