First of all, I’d like to thank everyone who assured me that my cycling skills will improved. You all honestly helped me to feel less hopeless about my prospects 🙂
Last night I went for my first “real” run since my half marathon, and it made me realize something. After my half marathon, I felt exhausted – I napped all afternoon and my legs hurt for days! I couldn’t figure out why, considering that my previous 12 and 13 mile runs had not done this to me. After all, I only ran my practice half marathon 4 minutes slower…I couldn’t have worked that much harder, right? Last night’s 3.5 mile run put that in perspective, though:
- Average pace of practice half: 9:17
- Average pace on last night’s run: 8:41
- Average pace of half marathon: 8:49
Not only did I run the real half marathon at a nearly 30 seconds/mile faster pace, I did manage to run it at my “race pace” (the pace I had been pushing myself to run my 5 milers at). I had not really thought that I could keep up that pace the whole race, considering that I wasn’t even coming close to that pace on long runs, so I didn’t consider that my race pace. I really surprised myself! Then, last night, when I was running at just a slightly faster pace, I honestly felt like there was NO WAY that I could have kept that up for 13 miles (to be fair,I’m still not really recovered from the half…my 5 mile run was at a 9:19 pace today). Maybe I only ran the real half 4 minutes faster, but I kept up a much better average pace than I thought I could, and that was with a 10:00 split on one of the bad uphill sections! No wonder I was so worn out afterwards.
This, on top of completing the half in general, really made me think about how far I have come. When I first started training for the half, I don’t think I had ever run a sub 9 minute mile. Last summer, I was happy that I was finally breaking 12 minute miles! Now, I get annoyed when I run at a “slow” pace, like I did today. I was even mildly annoyed yesterday with my pace, because I can normally run 3-4 miles at a pace under 8:30. I haven’t even had a real rest day since my half! I really need to remind myself on these “bad” days that I’m not actually having THAT bad of a day – only a few months ago, I would have been thrilled with such a performance. I really need to self reflect in this way more – I tend to be far too hard on myself.
Maybe it’s good thing that I am going on a vacation, then! Tomorrow, Kris and I are leaving to finally go on our “honeymoon.” Yes, we got married last year, but due to some complicated factors, we didn’t get to go as planned last year. We will finally be going to New York City! We won’t get there until Saturday, but we are leaving tomorrow so that we can drop Belle off with my parents (who are excited to spoil their “grandpup”), so tonight, I get to pack! I probably won’t have much time to post while I am there, but I am preparing a couple of posts to come up while I am gone, so hopefully the scheduling thingy works.
If you cannot tell, I am super excited. Not only have I never been to NYC before, but I have also never been on my “own” vacation. My parents don’t travel much, so we mostly did day trips. I did go to the beach once with Kris’s family, but I am not the hugest fan of the beach*, so it is not where I would pick to go myself (though I am glad I went once – it would be sad if I’d never seen the ocean). I am looking forward to seeing my first musical on Broadway (Wicked), going on a bunch of tours, and seeing lots of cool sights. The weather looks like it is going to be great (though hot), so hopefully we will be able to have an awesome time!
* Why do I not like the beach? Numerous reasons:
- Jellyfish are the bees of the ocean (i.e. they are creatures that I fear because they have mobility skills that I do not and they can hurt me)
- I can’t see anything (I am afraid of losing my only pair of glasses and I can’t wear contacts for medical reasons)
- Sand gets in all my stuff
- I sunburn when wearing SPF 50 baby sunscreen
- I don’t actually like to relax that much
- I’m not very good at swimming, so being in the ocean stinks because the waves push me around
- I’m probably forgetting something