Sunday, August 31, 2008

Easier the Second Time Around

On Sunday, I went out for my long run for the week. I told myself to just do one lap around my route, which would have been 3.3 miles. Instead, I felt too good and decided to go twice and then some, rounding out at almost 7 miles. Last week, when I ran my 7 miles, it was horrible and I felt weak. Although I was glad I had completed the distance, I wasn't really proud of anything else I had done. This week was different, I felt like I had actually accomplished something great for myself. I still feel that way. This time, it was definitely easier to run the 7 miles. But why?

I went earlier, so it was a tad cooler. We all know I run better in cooler temperatures. Was it the weather or was it the fact that I had actually done this before...and my body remembered somehow?

Body: What the hell is she doing?

Mind: Oh, she's just running 7 miles again. Remember? She did this last week?

Body: Yeah, I remember! That SUCKED!

Mind: Yeah, but you've done it once, so you'll be able to do it better THIS time, right?

Body: Oh, yeah. I guess you're right!

I think that has a little to do with it. But my mind definitely played a part in it this week. I have been talking myself into pushing a little harder over each workout. I tell myself "Ham Sa" or I play with my form. Sometimes I pretend I have little strings attached to the top of my knees when I'm going uphill, and there's some massive force above me pulling on the strings, raising my knees up so high that I can't help but keep running better, faster and stronger. It works for me.

One thing that bothers my good time out on these runs...runners trots. Usually occurring about 50 minutes into my sacred workout, I feel the cramping start deep within. I can push forward for about 30 minutes or so but it's not pleasant. I'm trying to figure out the best way to decrease the severity of these OR to eliminate them altogether. If anyone has any tips, please shoot them my way.

OH! Two good pieces of info to round out my post for the night. First, I had a nice run on Friday evening. I ran 3 miles, just played around to see what I could do. My first mile was 11:08, which for me, was actually pretty good because I wasn't putting forth a whole lot of effort. During my second mile, I ran 10:07, which was unbelievable to me. I've done that in the first mile before, but never in the second mile. After my 3 miles was up, I looked at my watch and it was 31 minutes and some change...which means I would have beat my PR for a 5K. This is a BIG DEAL for me, because my last (and best) 5K time was 36:49. Not only did I beat that but I did it in the horrid heat and humidity. I'm very proud.

Also, for the first time in my life, someone complimented me on my CALVES. I couldn't believe it. That is one body part that I've NEVER had anyone notice! Way to go, running!

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