I have not had the confidence in my running that I have had in the past. It is true that I have several months to go before I am normally focused on my goal race. I have just been aware that, due to my current circumstances, I am not able to make my long runs the priority that I have in the past.
My priorities just need to be different right now. It has to be that way, but I am not willing to just give up on my goal. Somehow, I must find a way to make it all work. If I fail in my BQ attempt, it won’t be from a lack of trying.
I am lucky that YaYa rides his bike along side of me without much complaint. Still, running with him requires a level of distraction that tires me at times. Cheerfully, he asks a lot of questions along the way. If I am not right beside him, I can’t always hear him. Straining to focus on his words, I am less focused on, or aware of, the aspects that I most enjoy in running.
So when Mark emailed me to ask if I’d be running, I emailed back to say that I needed to run alone today. It wasn’t that I needed an emotional purge, as is often the case; I just needed to be alone with runner Juls.
I checked the instructions just prior to heading down stairs. Coach prescribed another run where the first and last mile were set mid-way between easy and long run pace. The middle miles were to be at 8:00-8:15/mile. It seemed simple enough.
I hit the road and was initially pleased at the ease of the slow pace. The biggest challenge was not letting my automatic pilot kick in. This was especially true when I hit the hill. My normal instinct would be to use the tackle approach. I completed the first mile at the crest of the hill and let gravity take me to the bottom. The wind felt good and I let myself surge ahead. At the bottom, Garminia was shaking her finger at me as I had gone too fast. It worked out nicely as it allowed me to slow down while navigating the parking lot and street that I needed to cross.
Along the Baylands and back onto the trail, I ran steady. I listened to my breathing, felt my arms pumping and let my body relax. I was focused on the run and it was good. By the time I was into my final mile, I had enjoyed running hard and was ready to cruise back to office at a nice easy pace. The cool breeze was blowing, the sun was shining, and I was smiling.