With that in mind and looking at last week's time goals, I decided I'd do 50 minutes today, 45 on Wednesday, 40 on Thursday, and 55 on Saturday. Since I started running longer than 20 minutes (ah, remember the days when I thought 20 minutes was an impossibly long time to run? How I miss those days...), I try not to think about the run as a whole, because it overwhelms me. I'm still battling myself with wanting to meet the goal of a ten-minute pace on a regular basis, but knowing that it's more important to get out there and run for a certain length of time. I kept trying to remind myself during today's run that before February 12th, I wasn't running at all. Even as recently as on the day I turned 29, running anywhere wasn't a thought in my head. And now, just over three months after I started running, I've completed two 5k's and can run over four miles. At one time. Three months ago, I couldn't have run that far if an axe murderer was chasing me. So it's important to keep perspective.
Knowing that I'd really scaled back my running last week (getting in only one good run and one not-so-good run instead of four good runs), and going from running 30 of 38 minutes to running 50 today, I needed to cut myself a break. I tried to be mindful of my perceived effort today as I headed out, because I knew that overdoing it on Saturday in the humidity is what kept me from running the whole 35 minutes. Today's weather was definitely better - low fifties, not very much humidity, and overcast, it reminded me of the morning of my first 5k, minus the rain. And actually, my body felt pretty much the same today as it did that day - the usual joint soreness, but nothing major and nothing to really hold me back. Actually, now that I'm thinking about it, I'm also wearing exactly the same clothes as my first 5k too, even down to the socks, I think!
But anyway, as I started out, I kept my pace slower than I have been, and it felt like a 10:30 pace, which I was happy with. Of course, when I mapped my run, I found out it was more like a 10:55 pace, so I was a little disappointed (unless I mis-mapped my run, which is possible, because my halfway point was in a marsh with no real distinguishing landmarks). But since I've been running consistently under 11 minutes for a while now, I think I've got to be happy with anything under 11.
The first mile was tough, as usual, and then miles 2 and 3 were pretty good. Around about the end of the third mile, it started to sink in how much further I still had to go, and mentally that made me feel really tired. I kept thinking I wouldn't make it, so I reverted to my trick of imagining myself at a point further along the route - so when I was still back towards the municipal dock, I pictured myself running along the straightaway by the beach, and then when I reached that, I pictured myself running by the start of the sidewalk, about a half a mile from home. Fortunately, that worked, and I was able to finish the entire run, ending back where I started at 50:50. It looks like I ran 4.65 miles, which is less than I had hoped for, but when I finished the run, I felt like I was back on track again. So now we'll see how Wednesday and Thursday's runs go, and hopefully I can pick up the pace a bit, and then I'm really hoping to be over five miles on Saturday!