Light it Up.
This weekend BB and I went to Memphis and Jonesboro, AR, for a wedding of one of her friends. It was subtly Harry Potter themed, and a really good time. They had a mac and cheese bar with sugar-brined jalapeños. It was absurd. They also had a cupcake platter that kept being replenished as if by magic. I ate a lot of cupcakes.
The weather was fabulous. Cool, sunny, and just a little breezy. We did a 14 mile run, at just under an 11 minute pace. Though, the first couple miles were slower for crossings and shoe issues. So, we kept up a very strong long run for a long time. Our last marathon pace was 11:25 min/mi. If we end up at 11:00 this time, I’ll be more than thrilled. As usual, the goal is to finish. But I’d love to be out there running for maybe not quite 5 hours this time.
We came back to ECC Sunday evening and did a tempo run Monday morning. I was nervous about it. I haven’t really tried to run any distance and any speed except the 10km race last weekend, and I failed rather spectacularly at that. I didn’t know what I’d have in my tank. I just had a 5 mile run on my calendar, and so I was going to jog it out. BB had a 5 mile tempo run, and wanted to do a 1 mile jog warm-up before.
So I told her I’d jog with her, and then see if I could keep up when she turned it up. It was cool (65 degF) and dry, and a little breezy. The warm-up jog, a mile at an 11 minute pace, felt ok after my legs shook out, and when BB sped up I stayed with her. We turned in three 9:25 minute miles in a row, and I felt like I was doing easy work. Best I’d felt in a long time.
So I asked, as we ticked into our fifth mile, “For the last mile, want to light it up?” BB said sure. We finished our fifth mile at 9:15, and then bolted. I ran as hard as I could, and we started with a nice downhill. My legs were burning and my lungs were heaving and I just ran like hell. A mile is a long way to run like hell. It hurts. Especially if you’ve already done five miles.
I kept waiting for BB’s watch to jingle. It took forever. Time goes very slowly when you’re pushing as hard as you can. But finally the odometer ticked over and we stopped, gasping. 7:47.
I ran a mile in seven minutes and forty-seven seconds. It’s not the fastest mile I’ve ever run; I did a 7:27 about two years ago. But it’s the fastest I’ve run in a very long time. And it’s far faster than I thought I could do now. My fitness is not shit, it turns out. I have some fast miles in me. I’m proud as hell of that mile, at the end of a longish tempo run. I have a half marathon in a couple of weeks, and I’m excited to get it in, now.
Two in a row, good training runs that build some confidence. Let’s go. There’s a thing to get done.