I feel the progress, and it tastes glorious.
Weight: Halfway gone!
Sciatic pain: Resolved thanks to my miracle-worker chiropractor
Knee pain: Resolved thanks to new and even more supportive running shoes
5K distance: Race time down to 37 minutes. Running the full distance without intervals consistently under 40 minutes.
Pace: Improved but still extra zombie turtle slow
So forget 3 miles! I am moving on to 4 and 5 mile distances. (Aside from 5K races, obviously.)
Last night, we returned to our run club 10K route. The previous week, we walked the full 10K to get a feel for it (still killer). This time, we did our modified 5 mile version in segments.
It is still quite hard, and I still love the pain.
Panting up a steep hill in the cold dark with my muscles burning and the steam of my breath blowing back in my face gave me that rush that keeps me addicted to running. I felt challenged as the hills kicked my ass; I felt accomplishment when I didn’t die. At the end of the run, I felt completely depleted; I had left everything on the trail. The high was all that could remain.
I am starting to feel like my running self again. A slower, fatter version, but I can finally see that self buried underneath. I am finally remembering why I missed it so much, even now that the idealizing and romanticizing I did during my break has been burned away.
Most importantly, I remember that it always sucked; it was always hard. Running always hurt like hell. I never really got to the point where I strode on effortlessly, thinking, my what a delightful run this is! I was always panting and slobbering; I was always ransoming myself into just one more mile at a turtle’s pace of a jog.
It was the float that came from suffering and pushing myself so hard I thought I might puke and die. It was that high that came after I fucking did it, did more of it, got farther or (haha) faster.
I feel that again, so once again, I can love the run and accept the zombie turtle runner I am.
The more progress I see, the more goals I make. Incline in January. Full 10K distance (no intervals) in February. Prepregnancy weight by May. 10 miles after prepregnancy weight.
And I have lost my damn mind. Again. I have agreed to do a half marathon. Again.
So 13.1 miles by July.
Yes, the half is in the mountains, and it is 13 miles of DOWNHILL (the only reason I consented), but I know it will still be killer. And if I survive, then, I will truly feel like myself again.