Okay, so a running update.
Last September, I ran a half marathon with one of my best friends. Two weeks before said half marathon, I turned my ankle in the dark on a training run, and thought it was sore, I didn’t really think much of it.
And then. Literally 15 seconds after we started the race, I turned to say something to her… and turned the very same ankle in a small groove in the middle of the road. Badly this time.
Probably it wasn’t the best decision to run the race anyway, but that’s what I did. Honestly, after mile 4, I felt very little – some twinges here and there when we walked through the water stops, but nothing awful. We finished 2 hours and 17-some odd minutes after I turned my ankle, and within minutes of stopping I found I couldn’t really, well, WALK at all. My ankle swelled to massive proportions on the drive home that day, and for three weeks I hobbled around and couldn’t run.
During that time, I had a lot of time to think. About what I was doing with my running, how I was approaching it, and my goals.
So I did what any person who couldn’t run does: I decided that I’d run a marathon in 2013. 🙂
Except THIS time, I was going to do whatever it took to make sure I wasn’t injured this year. I talked with my PT, who helped me rehab from my ITBS. I hired a running coach to help me get my running form back, who would keep me honest over the winter. I did PT exercises on my ankle and my IT band and strengthwork at the gym. I ran when my coach told me to, didn’t run when he told me not to.
And the biggest thing: after looking at my spring half pictures, the day I broke two hours in a half marathon, I looked heavier than I had in 2010, when I finished the Smuttynose half marathon. I had put on muscle, yes, but I also had put on fat. So I also started counting calories on myfitnesspal.com so that I could shed some weight.
Since then, I’ve lost 15lbs, and am at my lowest adult weight ever. And I am back logging regular, consistent mileage, peppered with speedwork sessions, strength training, and long runs.
A month ago, I ran a half marathon in Central Park in 1:56:31, a personal best from my last half marathon of more than 3 minutes.
And couple of weeks ago, I ran a local 5k and ran a personal best by a full minute and forty seconds – my official time was 23:15.
So running, right now, is going really well. Even the hard runs give me something to take away. Like last week: in one run I gained confidence that I can keep running a number of miles when my legs are really fatigued without losing pace. In another, I figured out that I’m really bad at tempo pace and I need to focus some workouts on that.
Every run I do is leading towards a goal race.
My goal race this training cycle? Boston’s Run to Remember on Memorial Day weekend.
My ideal time goal is to break 1:45:00. Realistically, I’ll be happy with anything under 1:50:00. And if it’s hot, I’ll aim at 1:55:00, which is still a PB for me.
And honestly, it’s kind of insane that I’m looking at these numbers.
Because I remember the days where I’d need a gel at mile 4.5 because I had been running an hour – where I had to walk a hill I regularly use as my warmup. I remember the days where running my 6 mile loop around town felt like a really far run. I remember my first 5k, where I walked multiple times and finished at 32:48. The day where I ran my farthest distance – 6 miles – and realized, holy shit, you can run as far as you want. It’s actually possible!
It’s not been that long since my first race – 4 years ago this August.
So really, I kind of have no idea what I’m capable of as a runner. I’m just going on faith and working hard and making sure that I put all the pieces in place in the hopes that I can do something awesome.
Which is kinda how life works.
So here’s hoping. 🙂