I’ll be the first to admit that there are many days when I don’t like running and that most days, I just tolerate it. When my coach enters my new workouts into the Google spreadsheet we share, I’m never filled with excitement or anticipation to look at them – usually, it’s dread. I fear pushing myself to the point of pain or realizing that I just can’t do a workout the way my coach wants. Today was one of those days. My workout wasn’t even particularly challenging – 6 mile progression run with 1 mile warm up, 2 miles at goal marathon pace (9:09), 2 miles at goal half marathon pace (8:42), and 1 mile cool down. Given that I’ve got a half marathon this weekend where I’d like to PR, that really shouldn’t seem too difficult, right? Well, for some reason I just did not want to get out there.
Then my Garmin wouldn’t find the satellites, and it was misting, and I just did not want to run. If there’s one thing I’m good at, though, it’s getting my workouts in when they’re on a spreadsheet. Must not defy the spreadsheet.
But I set off anyway, and surprisingly, my legs felt fantastic. The misting meant that there was no sun in the sky whatsoever – my favorite way to run – and the cool air kept me feeling fresh. I knew I was running fast (for me), but the effort felt so easy. My “warm up” mile was 8:57 – faster than goal marathon pace. That never happens.
As the miles flew by, I couldn’t believe how strong I felt. More importantly, I was enjoying every second. The autumn colors in the trees looked like fire, and I just felt so comfortable and happy. In that moment, I fell in love with running all over again. I looked down at my watch again to find that mile 2 went by 40 seconds faster than my goal marathon pace – oops. Every time I tried to slow down, I literally couldn’t. My legs were having none of it. So eventually, I decided to just go. I had already “failed” at the goal of my workout, so might as well. Sub-8 pace? Why not? It felt easy.
I know that’s nothing for many of you. For me, sub-8 pace feeling easy after running for 5 miles is amazing. I couldn’t wipe the smile off of my face. I never felt like I was pushing myself. I never felt the need or desire to walk at all, which never happens. I was just happy to be outside in the fresh air doing the sport that I love to do. Every second of those 51 minutes was absolutely perfect, and today, I am grateful.
Leave a comment: What are you thankful for today? Have you had an unexpectedly exceptional run or workout lately?