Seriously, how is September half over?!! Actually, I might be ok with that if it wasn’t for the heat.
I love heat, I really do. I mean I use a space heater every day at work- every day. My favorite part of winter is bundling up in cozy sweats with a big fluffy blanket. But I am done. The heat kicked my ass this year. I never adjusted to it like I used to. It never felt comfortable. Normally I love 100* temps. Grrrr. Maybe it’s because I work in a town that rarely gets above 70. Or maybe because home town can have a 30-50 degree change throughout the day? Maybe I am getting old? Who knows. Monday it rained and it was awesome. When I started Tuesday’s run I was actually cold! It was awesome! I thought the temps were finally changing. I was starting to look forward to the 12 miler I need to run this weekend. Then came the news. The temps this weekend are projected to be a cool 100*. Waah.
Ok, deep breath, moving on. 😃
I like starting the week with my easy run, so that was the plan for Tuesday. I headed to the river path for an easy 4. The cooler air must have confused my Garmin because it said I had an elevation gain of over 550 feet for a 4 mile run. Yeah, um no. It’s more like 150. Luckily everything else seemed normal, I run this route often enough to know each mile point. Which is good since this turned out to be a run to remember. 😁
I started out with my usual walking warm up, but started running earlier. It was breezy and I was kind of chilled but it felt awesome. I laughed to myself that running more hadn’t really helped my first mile split but I was feeling good so who cared. I just kept trucking along and feeling good. No need for any walk breaks. Somehow my phone ended up on random and the song choices were amusing me. A song came on that I’d never heard before, I’m not even sure how it ended up on my phone. It was a little melancholy but I really liked it. I’ve been super stressed lately (and not hiding it well here on the blog) and something about it calmed me down and kept me running.
I did have to stop for a moment around 2.5 miles in. My stomach cramped pretty badly which wasn’t surprising considering I’d been eating Starbursts and cinnamon bears for 2 days. An older woman with a huge dog was heading my way and with my track record with dogs, I just decided to stay put until they passed by. No need to anger the dog right? Instead I scared the crap out of it. The dog jumped about a foot in the air when it saw me standing on the side of the path. What would it have done if I had run by?
That pause combined with the eerily timed song earlier had made me think. My fastest mile had been completed on this route in August 2014. I clocked in at 8:05. I suddenly wanted to beat that. Why? I don’t know, but I wanted to try. So I did. As soon as my watch buzzed for mile 3, I opened it up.
I knew I had a busy intersection in the middle of the mile so I my initial pace registered in the 8:20’s. It was feeling pretty good though. My goal was to pick it up just after the intersection. There was a line of cars so I skidded to a stop and paused my watch. The first car actually saw me so I was actually still sliding when they waved me on. In like a second I had slid, paused, un-paused and ran on. Half a mile left, time to fly. Except halfway down the path a dad was walking up with his toddler and a stroller. Between all of them they took up the whole path. I debated blasting through but the toddler was wobbling all over the path. Mowing down a toddler was not on the agenda. Another sudden stop and a pause to the Garmin. Didn’t people know I was attempting something here?!
Un-pause and run on. It was hard getting back into gear. My legs and lungs were protesting now. I ignored them and pushed on. I hit the end of the concrete path and headed for the dirt river trail. I almost ate rocks for dinner as I lost traction rounding the corner of the trail head. I got my act together and pushed on; I knew I was close. That was the longest 3/10 of a mile ever. But I did it!
7:48:9?! Holy crap! Would I have done better or worse if I hadn’t had to pause twice? I don’t know but it’s still awesome. 😃 I slowed to a walk but I didn’t feel like I needed to stop. I was breathing super loudly and probably sounded creepy since I was kind of hidden in the bushes on the trail. I walked for 1/10 of a mile before running it out for a total of 4.5 miles. I felt pretty good.
So, while I may never ever do it again, I can say I got pretty damn close to my fastest mile ever back in high school. I really only had PE my freshman year of school but I was always stuck doing that Presidential Fitness test. I was so horrible at those. 😉 I’ve been thinking a lot about speed and my next half marathon so it was kind of cool to pull this off. I also think the cooler weather helped. The news just announced the predicted for Sunday has risen to 102 so hopefully the high from this run will get me out of bed early enough to avoid the heat.
Are you enjoying fall yet? Or still dealing with summer temps?’
Favorite part of fall?
Does pausing count?