Last weekend as I wrapped up a very emotional week I made myself commit to running a couple of miles on Saturday morning and then planned to do a long run on Sunday in preparation for my upcoming half marathon in Georgia. Saturday morning I headed out and put in 2 miles (of running) and a mile of walking just to get my legs ready for Sunday. I was so excited for cooler temps and while the humidity was a little high it was completely tolerable! I was excited that I could get my fast run in at under a 10 mile per minute pace and that really made me more excited for Sunday’s longer run.
As my hubby stayed up late to watch the college football game on television, I opted to get in bed earlier so I would not be too exhausted to get up Sunday morning. As the alarm went off at 4:45 am, I seemed to quickly turn it off instead of hitting snooze. After laying there for a bit I got a soft, “uh, aren’t you running” from my hubs which was just what I needed to push me out of bed that morning. Though I had planned to hit the pavement around 5 am, my 6:15 am time put me in some morning light which was a little nicer than the pitch black.
I had already planned out my route, which was a hilly course that I used last year to work on preparation for the hills of Atlanta. This year I thought, if it’s not broken, don’t try to fix it. So I planned to use that route Sunday. As I finished the first half of the tough hills (which I was totally excited that I pushed through EVERY SINGLE ONE without walking) the sun was coming up and so was the temperature. As I got to a spot that I could head back home and still gain 2 more miles, I opted to turn. I had also been reluctant to wear compression socks because I have struggled with getting overheated during the summer running so I had no compression on my calves and my left one was beginning to ache a bit. It was a choice to turn to stay healthy for the last few weeks of training and I still felt great.
I pushed on . . . As I got to the last 2 mile stretch of my run I kept telling myself to just keep running. I really wasn’t exhausted and truthfully, I wasn’t in too much pain to make me need to walk. I pushed through and when I rounded the corner I spotted another runner ahead on my route. It told myself, run until you catch her and if you need to walk then you can. I pushed on and caught her, then passed her and kept going. I turned the corner to head back to my house and kept running. My legs felt strong, it was good to have a great run for a change.
As I came down the final hill to my house I knew that I had completed one of my best runs in a really long while. It was a slower pace, with plenty of opportunity to be in control of my breathing, concentrate on my stride and just enjoy my run. It was, as they say, a good runner day!
So this week as I plan out my runs I will hold onto those moments of accomplishment and just remember that it’s just a hill and I CAN get over it!