It helped that the weather was beautiful today, warming up to the low fifties by one, and fortunately, Coach J checked in with me to see what my plan for running was this week. It gave me the push I needed to make sure I got in my run today and he suggested that I just get out there and run for 35 minutes to see how far I could get. Since I was so sure I was already running three miles, I thought it would be great to see how much further I could get in five more minutes. I took a pedometer with me (one I'd used in training for the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer, and it was admittedly faulty then) and just focused on running. I also made sure to check the landmarks where I started, turned around and finished, so that I could check the mileage later with my car.
I think Monday runs might be my favorite, surprise surprise. It's got to be because my body has had two days of rest, so it's not as tired when I get out there. And I think I might run at lunchtime whenever I can, because I really think the run goes better when I do. Today's run was great. I ran further than I've ever run before, and other than a pesky cramp in my side for the second half, I felt great. I paced myself so I would be able to finish the whole 35 minutes without wanting to keel over. So when I finished, I was sure I'd run way more than three miles. I checked my pedometer, which said about 2.95.
Then I remembered all the trouble I'd had with it before the Avon walk, so I told myself not to be disappointed and wait for the official distance when I tracked it with my car. Disappointment averted.
After posting on Facebook about my pedometer, another running friend suggested I check out Map My Run, which let me find my town and map out the actual route that I run - very cool! However, when I did this, it told me that I only ran just over 3.1 miles, which is what I'll need to run to do my 5k. And it deduced that I'm running about a 11:06 mile pace, which is slower than I thought. I still figured I'd check the distance with my car, which I did, and it came back with the same result.
I thought I had been running longer and faster - who would have thought I'd be disappointed with a 3.1 mile, 35 minute run?
I chatted with Coach J afterwards, and he reminded me to look back at my first blog, when running for 60 seconds felt like forever, and five minutes was impossible. He also pointed out that it wasn't that long ago either.
I had forgotten so quickly what a big accomplishment (for me anyway) that three miles is. I did remember when I was running, and passed the 20 minute mark that not so long ago, I was thinking there was no way I'd be able to run 20 minutes without ending up collapsed on the side of the road. And now I can run almost twice as long and feel great. I'm still on the journey to becoming a longer distance runner, so I can't expect myself to be able to go out and run five miles yet - not that I thought I'd run five miles in 35 minutes, don't worry! But I thought I could manage 3.5 miles. I'm sure I'll get there.
In other running news, I'm about to sign up for my second 5k! Yes, I know I haven't yet done my first 5k, but after running 5k today, I'm confident that I could do it. The next three weeks will be all about getting comfortable with the distance, and trying to run a little bit faster (or maybe longer). My brother-in-law found the second 5k I'll be doing, the Bergen County Police Hot Pursuit 5k Fun Run/Walk - he tells me that there's a tee-shirt, so he knew it would be a good race for me! There's only one little catch - it's the day after my first 5k! At first, I thought it would be silly to try to do back to back races, so I figured I would check with the expert. Coach J thought it was a great idea, and told me to get out there and enjoy it, reminding me that it's only 30-35 minutes of running two days in a row So that's the plan - first the Bridge to Bay 5k in Victorian Islands Heights (down here in south Jersey), and then the Hot Pursuit Fun Run (up in North Jersey). Thinking about it makes me want to lie down and have some ice cream. I don't suppose that will make me faster though...but I'll do it anyway.