|I'm pretty sure a picture of your feet is required in every running blog.|
Last night was my weekly hill run. I have set up a little weekly challenge for myself to run a very hilly 3 mile trail every Wednesday night. My watch stays on even through the walking breaks. The goal is to watch my time decrease as I walk less, my pace gets faster and I increase my endurance on those tough hills. I was psyched last week with my time of 37:24. I had powered through the first 1.4 miles of the trail up hills I had to walk 2 weeks before. I felt really good and I gave it my all.
So when I set out last night I was scared. I had really given it my all last week. How could I possibly do more?
Somehow I did.
I made it through the first 1.4 miles. At precisely 1.41 miles is a hill that I am pretty sure the devil placed there himself. I made it about 1/8th of the way up. But that is an 1/8th of the way farther than last week.
This week I made it up hills on the second half of the run that I know I walked last week. In the last 0.6 miles, which are gloriously downhill, I saw my pace reach the 10min/mi mark which is a full minute faster than my normal pace. I was hauling ass in the hopes of finishing somewhere in the 36 minute mark.
My time was 35:42. Flipping A! In 4 weeks of my personal challenge I have shaved over 3 minutes of my time.
I was feeling great afterwards, which got me thinking about a couple of things:
1. I am ok out of my comfort zone. I find when it comes to running I am afraid to push myself very far. Perhaps this stems from the fact that I run by myself with no one else around to push me. I'm afraid I will get tired. I'm afraid I'll fail. But the fact is that I can push myself a little harder sometimes. I can run a little faster than what is comfortable or go a little longer. This is what will make me a better runner.
2. I almost skipped this run because of some passing thunder storms. In the end I waited out the storms and went for a run. I wasn't very hopeful because I had a horrendous run the day before. It ended up being an awesome run with a great runner's high as a reward. From now on when I find myself wanting to skip a run I am going to remember this run and wonder if by skipping a run I am going to miss out on this awesome sense of accomplishment.
Finally, I was originally feeling a little silly posting about how awesome I felt after running 3 hilly miles in 35 minutes. Surely, my awesome run is still viewed by others as painfully slow. But then this morning this popped up in my Goggle reader. I am a new reader to this blog, but this post just spoke to me today. The only person I can compare myself to is me. I am running better than I did 4 weeks ago and that kicks ass!