Run happy indeedy. I’m so glad that I made the switch to Brooks shoes. Best decision ever.
Saturday morning, Dr. Vonda Wright spoke to the group about warming up before a run and cross training. She had the group perform various exercises before we ran - lunges, squats, and leg swings to name a few. It was about 18 degrees outside, so I stayed inside with a few others to do the warmup. I didn’t want to spend 20+ minutes in the cold waiting for my muscles to turn into frozen steaks. I felt like a total creep watching the group through a huge glass window. Actually, I felt like a caged zoo animal waiting to bust free and roam the streets. I love that she promotes the importance of cross training for runners. It works wonders in preventing side-lining injuries!
After the presentation, the pace groups began taking off one by one. I paced the 9:30 group with Tom M. - this run was scheduled to be a goal race pace run. In a perfect world, my dream long distance race pace is a 9 minute mile, but I’ll take what I can get at the moment! I’m grateful for every step. I initially signed up to lead the 9:45 group, but I ended up only having one runner, and Tom had two in his group. Therefore, we decided that the smart thing to do was to combine our group and run between a 9:30-9:45 pace. Generally speaking, the conditions were going to affect our overall pace anyway.
I was itching like a crazy woman to run outside after being stuck on the treadmill all week long for my short runs. Sometimes, the treadmill makes my short runs feel like 20 milers! But I was also very nervous about this run because it was going to be a physical test for me to see how my recovery is coming along from ITBS (iliotibial band syndrome). Prior to this day, my longest run was just over 5 miles between then and November 11th. There’s really no other way to test the waters than to uhh…test the waters. I’ve been tip toeing through this training plan so far, which is smart, but also frustrating. Foam rolling between 10-20 minutes per day has been helping immensely. I’ve grown to love my foam roller.
Mother Nature has been Miss Grumpy Pants, and we ended up having a random full blown snow storm the night before. Most of the sidewalks were covered with snow and slush, leading to some tricky footing, a lot of sketchy areas, and the task of running along the Pittsburgh streets. Apparently, we all felt that being struck by a vehicle would be far better than slipping on a patch of icy slush along the sidewalks - kidding. The 20 degree weather felt 5,834 times warmer than the 9 degrees (feels like -5) we had earlier last week. I was on pins and needles when I had no choice but to run on top of the snow. Knee wise, I didn’t feel that I was stable enough from the slipping and sliding as I tried to maintain my balance/running form in the most ‘graceful’ fashion.
Luckily, mile 6 of the planned route was at the Pittsburgh Marathon office, so if I had to stop, I’d be able to do so without much inconvenience for both myself and the runners in my group. We ran the first mile at a pace 30 seconds slower than goal pace to warm up, and then progressed as much as we possibly could with the snow. Some parts felt particularly challenging, like the ramp leading us over the 2nd bridge crossing.
It felt like I was running in place, and I almost biffed it a few times as my feet kept sliding backwards. I also got sprayed with some dirty slush because some jerk decided to drive very close to our group rather than politely going into the other lane when there were absolutely NO other cars in sight. Thanks man. Real cool.
Mile 1: 9:52
Mile 2: 9:09
Mile 3: 10:11
Mile 4: 10:10 <—- Snowy sidewalks.
Mile 5: 9:06
Mile 6: 9:06
Mile 7: 9:00 <—- Felt like the longest mile EVER.
Mile 8: 9:08
Mile .24: 2:05 (8:48 pace)
Our goal was a 9:30 pace. We pretty much nailed it and ended up doing better than originally anticipated!
I’m pretty pleased with these splits! I didn’t feel any pain during this run, but after standing around for a little bit, I did feel some twinges that dissipated within 10 minutes or so. I refueled with a nutirious home-made PB & chocolate chip muffin - thanks Shannon! I closed up the morning by taking a necessary trip to Starbucks for a post-run caffeinated beverage with my favorite people. Even after sitting still for a while and driving home, I still didn’t have any discomfort. I was sore, but it was your expected soreness, nothing to really be concerned about. I foam rolled for 10 minutes and stretched some more after getting home.
I’m so thrilled about this! Absolutely thrilled! :) A few weeks ago, this distance seemed impossible, but I’m making good progress! Like I said, it feels good to be back.
This is totally how I felt on the inside after Saturday morning.7 notes
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