Exceeding Expectations

My run today was not supposed to go well.

First of all, I realized yesterday that I forgot my sports bra at the gym. I only own one right now (I know, I know) but I wasn’t that worried because I had ordered one online to be shipped to a local store and I thought that it might be in today and I could run to get it. It didn’t end up coming in, so I had to run wearing one of those tanktops with a built in sports bra. In comparison to my awesome actual cup sized sports bra, that thought was just laughable.

Furthermore, my legs were really really really sore from lifting. In fact, I was starting to worry that my left hamstring might be injured, as it hurt more than my other muscles and did not seem to be going away no matter how much I stretched it.

Finally, after heading out in my weird tanktop under an insulated shirt getup with my hurting legs, I realized I had forgotten my gloves and would have to run with my hands pulled up inside of my shirt sleeves. Overall, I was shaping up for a terrible run. I wasn’t even sure if I’d finish it!

I headed out, though, and somehow all of these things weren’t that bad. The sports bra thing wasn’t too bad, I warmed up quickly, and running seemed to actually stretch my poor legs out better. When runkeeper alerted me that I ran my first 5 minutes at a 8:45 min/mile pace, though, I attributed it to a fluke of being cold (I usually run my first mile a little faster due to being cold). I was still going to have a bad run, I thought.

Then, I finished the whole first mile in less than 9 minutes. Was I still cold and overcompensating, or had I really done that? I mean, I’ve only finished a mile in under 9 minutes once before, and it was after quite a bit of rest! I decided I’d try to keep up my pace and see what happened.

I ran 4 miles in 35 minutes.

Ok, it was actually 3.99, with a total run of 4.07 in 35:35. I was extremely surprised, actually – during the last mile I was definitely not running at a “conversational” pace even though I felt like I had slowed down and my legs were feeling super tired. I was sure that I had run it slower but I was still impressed because it is hard to tell from the free version of Runkeeper, but I was pretty certain I eeked out a 28 minute 5K in there, so I was cool with just that accomplishment (I ran my first sub-30 5K only 3 months ago, and my first sub-35 5K only 5 months ago!). Looking at my splits, though, this was actually my fastest mile, at 8:38/mile!!! No wonder I felt so tired during it!

Not sure what exactly led to this gain in speed today or if it was just a fluke. Perhaps it was my yummy protein pancakes I made for breakfast (a recipe from the NROLFW book). Speaking of which, today gave me a mini-experiment. I’ve been feeling super tired after lifting, but I thought it might just be from the protein powder (it can apparently make you sleepy). It wasn’t a perfect controlled experiment or anything (here is the academic in me coming out), but I ate protein powder in the protein pancakes, but I do not feel super tired now. It must be the lifting (or the combo of running and lifting). This makes me feel much more confident that the lifting is a “real” workout.

Stay warm during Virgil, guys. I’m hoping it’s dangers are greatly exaggerated as I have plans tomorrow, but I’m guessing that it will disappoint me, unlike my awesome run today.

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