Monday, April 2, 2012

I'm getting faster!

I am not a natural runner, and I'm definitely not a fast runner.  I work hard to run long distances and I have to train for weeks just to complete a half marathon.  I'm not one of those people who can decide to run a half marathon three weeks before the event without a solid base of distance running and then successfully complete it.  I have to work at it.

When I started running in July 2010, I was ecstatic to be able to run 1.5 miles and I had no idea what my pace was.  In November of that year, I ran my first 5K and finished in 32:16.  So, I averaged a 10:23 minute mile.  I was shocked!  I really thought my pace was even slower.  Since then, my pace dropped to about a 10 min. mile.  Last April, I ran my first half marathon in 2:13:45, which was a 10:12 pace.  Not much faster than my 5K pace.  Of course, the distance was much longer, so that was to be expected.  I spent those first few months of running just building up my distance.  Pace wasn't a concern at all.  Even though I wasn't trying to be a fast runner, I always read other blogger's race reports with a bit of envy when they listed their paces as 8 or 9 minute miles. 

I have always struggled through every mile of running knowing that I couldn't go any faster. But, I'm starting to think that I'm just limiting myself because I'm afraid to push myself.  I think I can run faster than I let myself.

Yesterday, I ran with a friend.  It was supposed to be a 12 mile run, but we had to limit it to 6.5 miles because I'm recovering from an Achilles injury.  We kept up a great pace the entire time and I felt like I was pushing myself, but I didn't feel bad at all.

Last night, she sent me the following email:

Hope your Achilles is still doing well this evening.  You probably already know this from your watch, but you averaged a 9:34 pace today...very nice!!!

Your splits were:

9:26 (last 1/2 mile)

That's a 2:04 to 2:05 finish!!!  COOL!!!

I know this doesn't seem like a big deal to those of you who run much faster than this, but for me it's incredible!  I maintained that pace the entire time, with an injury, and I definitely felt like I could have run 6.5 more miles without slowing down.  I think I'm finally getting faster!  Next week we'll be running 12 miles, so I'm going to see if I can keep up the pace the entire time.  If I can, I think I will have a PR at the half marathon on April 22nd!


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