It was by accident that I started this run streak. I set out to run every day of our Mexico vacation to balance the family time and to not completely lose my fitness.
Then we came home, the kids went back to school and the sun was shinning the way only a February sun can do. So I went for a run. Because I love winter running. And basically that’s the way it has worked for the last 60 days!
Honestly though, behind the whim I had known that in order to break 6 hours in my summer half-ironman triathlons I needed to improve my run pace.
I’ve feared increasing my run volume because I do not want to epically implode the way that I did in preparation for Twin Cities Marathon in 2014. Instead I ran 3-4 miles every day of vacation or the first week. Then I ran whatever distance I wanted to for a week straight. Finally, I fell into a 4 miles (4 days a week), 1.5-3.5 (2 days a week) and 7-10 miles for my long run.
About a month or so into the streak I tried to increase the standard daily 4 mile run to 5 miles. Too much! I was dragging myself through my bike & swim workouts that whole week.
Now I’m back to about a 30 mile run week with a focus on easy paces. On the day when I cycle my ‘long ride’ I run 1.5-2.5 miles at a harder pace. Of course this is to increase my tolerance for running after riding.
Today is day 60 and I’m not sure that I have an end date in mind. I’ve already run through the flu – it was a miserable slog of almost exactly one slow mile at about 6 pm so it is hard to imagine what will happen to end the streak.
I’ve learned that running more has done all the things that all the experts say it will do! (Seriously, Google it.) The running itself is never hard to complete. In fact, this habit is so ordinary to me now that a quick 4 mile run around the lake feels like second nature.
The test that I felt would dictate whether or not I just keep running was racing the Twin Cities Hot Dash 10 mile last Saturday. I ran easy paces that whole week but I didn’t take any days off. In fact, I kept my doubles (run + swim or run + ride) that week leading up to the race. On Wednesday I kept telling my husband Jesse that I wasn’t going to stress out about the race. I was just running for fun. Then on Thursday I felt like, “well, I mean, why not race it?” By Friday before going to bed I came right around to, “I just want to run WELL!”
Race morning arrived and I was so hyper. I just love the excitement and anticipation before I race! Walking to the start line with a gigantic mob of my people in running tights, neon and winter hats on a freezing Saturday morning was so ridiculous and awesome at the same time. I love being a part of that vibrating crowd. If I could I think I’d race once a month.
Before I knew it we were zooming along to mile 8 and my carefully monitored watch was telling me that I was going to PR if I could hold on for 2 more miles.
At mile 9 I pushed my pace and focused on not falling on the cobble stones. My lungs were burning but I had made it! A 3-minute PR!
So I am going to keep running and see how many more PRs I can rack up this year. Happy running!
(obligatory awkward post-race photo and yes, that is crotch sweat #ew)