I have been making a conscious effort to fall back in love with running. I’m not following any sort of training plan until later in the year. Winter, Spring and Summer are all about the F U N! I cannot tell you how free it is to let go of a plan and just run when and how I feel like it. I’m not hung up on paces or mileage. It’s been great so far!
With that said, I wasn’t sure what would happen this past weekend when I was faced with my longest distance since marathon training. I had no idea how it would go. I suffered from a terrible cold the week leading up to the relay and my congestion wasn’t entirely gone. I just kept telling myself that this was for fun and to just run the best I could.
I was on the Woo Sole Cruë team with Christine, Sarah, and Christie. All 4 of us ran really well! The weather was a bit chilly, but it proved to be perfect running weather. There were 3 other teams of running friends too, so the day was spent cutting up, laughing, and cheering each other on.
Once it was my turn to run, I missed being at the exchange zone on time. Instead of meeting Christie there, I chased her for a mile down the Greenway for the hand off. She was tearing up her leg and she arrived at mile 6.7 before we all thought she’d be there. It was quite funny when she rounded the corner and all of us standing there were taken by surprise. Needless to say my warm-up jog to the EZ ended up being a speed workout before an almost 8 mile run. I was a little nervous on how that would affect the rest of my run.
I finally made it to the hand off, Christie handed me the bracelet and her and I started our run back to towards the marina. She ran with me back to the bridge (where I first saw her at mile 6.7). She stopped there and I continued on my run towards the finish line. I just got into a groove quickly and stayed very consistent through my whole run. It was the first time in a long time that my wheels didn’t come off towards the last few miles.
I had 3 time estimations (not goals, I’m just running for fun!) going into the race. Achieving any of these would be awesome:
- Finish around 1:18-1:20 (around 10 min. mile pace)
- Finish around 1:15 (around 9:45 pace)
- Finish around 1:12 (around 9:20 pace)
I finished my leg at 1:11:23, under my fastest estimate! I was so stoked and thrilled with how my whole run went and the end result. I really felt like the decision to just run these last few weeks without following any sort of plan had paid off.
I’m continuing the same way the next few weeks leading up to the Myrtle Beach half. I’m going into that race with no time goal other than to run it the best and the fastest I can. Who knows what will happen?! Maybe a PR, maybe not. Either way, I know it’s going to be fun, that’s the only goal I have right now.