Taking time off is hard. Very hard. I rested all last week. My cold is gone and my energy is returning. And, as usual, after taking a week off from training, depression and insomnia rears its ugly head. I get stir-crazy, and I know it's time to get back out there.
Yesterday, I did the club's final track workout of the season. It was a mile time trial. I had no idea what to expect. I can't remember the last time I timed myself for a mile. I just decided to go out and do it and have fun with it. We had a nice, long warm-up, stretched, and warmed up some more. Then, we all went out for our 4 loops around the track. Everyone took off. I just hung out in the back, trying not to feel defeated. First lap: 2:00 even. Hey, that's not so bad. Second lap: 4:00. At least I'm consistent. I felt strong and steady and slightly uncomfortable but knew I could sustain the pace. I started to get waves of adrenaline on the 3rd lap, which I hate because it was too early. Then, I had to hold myself in check, and quell the impulse to just sprint. I felt almost naseous. But I picked up my pace slightly until I was a little more "uncomfortable." My breathing rate increased but was still deep and even. Fourth lap, time to get the lead out. I steadily picked up the pace, building momentum on the first turn. I started passing people who had passed me on the first straightaway, which only incited me to go faster. I kept increasing and increasing all the way to the finish. 7:45. I felt great.
I'm happy with this time. My mile PR is 7:20. I haven't been doing any speedwork so I had pretty low expectations. I was hoping for an 8:30 or maybe an 8:00. So I'm pretty happy to be in the 7's. My goal is to get down to 7:00 one day. I think it may actually be possible.
We went out to pizza afterwards. Forgot my wallet. Luckily, the joint was 1/2 mile away from our apartment. I still had my running shoes on so I ran out the door and all the way to the apartment, grabbed my wallet, and hoofed it back to pay for dinner. Great post-dinner run to burn off the pizza!
Jason reminded me yesterday of how hard it was for us when we first started running about six years ago. First off, I am amazed at well he knows me. Then I realize we've been together almost 10 years (Feb.) so no wonder. Still, it's nice to be with someone who knows you inside and out. When I get in a bad mood and say self-defeating things, he's the one to say, "That's not like you. I know you, and I know you don't want that." Then I realize he's right. No argument there. But I digress...
We first started running in St. Louis from our apartment to the History Museum, which was about 2 miles. It took us 30 minutes to do it, and it was tough. I remember the first time we made it all the way to Skinker (where the main campus of Wash. U. is). That was about 4 miles. We felt like it was such an accomplishment. We had to work our way up to our first 5K. It seemed so daunting at the time. I remember when I ran all the way around Forest Park for the first time. Halfway around the loop, the point of no return. It was scary. Can I do this? I made it back and felt invigorated. 6 miles, baby. It was great. It's nice to reflect on how far we've come b/c I tend to beat myself up about stupid things that don't matter when in fact, I'm improving and getting fitter all the time.