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!