Last night when Chris and I went to bed, we talked about our plans to run a 12 miler in the morning and set the alarm for 5am. When the alarm went off, we both rolled over and said we had headaches and didn't feel like running. Seriously, both of us had pounding headaches. It was kind of weird, actually. I'm attributing it to the fact that it had been raining all night and a lot of humidity in the air always tends to give me a headache, plus we're both a little stressed and anxious about our weekend. We've had to do a lot of planning and packing for this youth conference and we've also never been apart from our kids for more than 1 night, and that was only once.
Anyway, I slept in until 6:30, at which point I finally decided I needed to get up and do something. After getting a glass of Coke Zero, I sat down at the computer and got on Facebook. There, staring me in the face - hey, it's National Running Day, who knew? Well that was it. I had to go run. I geared up and headed out, not sure where or how long I would go. For the first mile, my head was still pounding, but it was a little chilly and the fresh air really seemed to be helping. At some point I made the decision to do a 10 miler, 5 miles out and back on a country road. As I started to get into my groove, I remembered something I read last night right before going to bed. You see, I got my new book yesterday, "Running for Women" by Kara Goucher. I have a feeling this is going to become my new go-to book, but I'll save that for another post. She writes, "Land gently, leave quickly. Visualize yourself being light on your feet (hot coals, ouch!) and lifting each foot quickly after each step. After a while, you won't need to think about it. Too much time on the ground with each foot will slow you down and make you a sluggish runner."
Something about these words of advice struck a chord with me. When I run, I've always felt heavy on my feet and somewhat sluggish. I decided today that I was going to focus hard during my run and heed her words. I was increasing the speed of my turnover without having to expend too much more energy. I was actually saying in my mind: hot, hot, hot! as I took each step. It helped me remember to keep my feet going at a livelier pace.
So here are the crazy results of this experiment: I ran 10.1 miles in an hour and 41 minutes, which is an average pace of 10:05 min./mile - and that was WITH walking breaks at 5 minute intervals! I'm pretty sure that's the fastest I've ever run 10 miles, even without the walk breaks. Yep, I do believe I'll be following more of Kara's advice in the future!
I was so happy when I got home, my headache was gone and I was definitely feeling on a runner's high. By that point, my husband was up and at 'em and despite feeling a little tired, he was ready to do some kind of workout. Our kids were on their way with Grandma to spend the weekend with her and Grandpa 4 hours away, so Chris wanted to go to the gym. I decided to throw caution to the wind and go with him so I could catch a 12pm spinning class. Then we both went in to the pool and I swam a little over 1/4 mile. So a 10 mile run, 1 hour spinning and 1/4 mile swim - not bad for a day's work. Happy National Running Day!