I've had a couple great runs since Sunday's (3rd place in my age group) 5K! On Tuesday our class ran out to the Arb for hill work. What I love about this hill repeat is that it's completely shaded. Tuesday was another hot one and the shade was amazing. Then, about halfway through, it finally started to rain. It had looked like rain the whole day and finally opened up.
This is only the second time I've run in the rain, both times starting out dry and then raining mid-run and I LOVED it! It just cooled us off so much! I'm not sure I would start a run in the rain - I just haven't come across that yet - but I have enjoyed my two runs that ended in the rain.
Last night, I met my local running partner for a 4 miler. It's always great meeting up with her so we can catch up on everything. We got to talking and I find myself wondering about my running mentality.
Before joining the 501 running class, I ran entirely by myself. From never running to doing three half marathons, I did solo. It was great and frankly, I didn't know any better anyway. Now that I'm in the class I LOVE running more than I ever did.
There is something about getting in a big group of people all with similar interests and having an educated coach set up a workout for us to do. I don't have to think about it, I just do it. Tuesdays we get to the store and find out if we're doing hills or speedwork. Saturdays she always has an awesome route mapped out for us from 4-18 miles (and more as we get closer to our full marathons).
With water stations set up for us every 2 miles, it takes the thinking/planning out of running for me and I love it. Every time I've gotten out there for the past 8 weeks, I've gone with the intention of completing the workout and succeeded. I've given them my all and finished strong, never cheating or slacking.
When I run on Thursdays with my friend, I have been making us stop for walk breaks around the 2 mile point. Not that walk breaks are bad by any means, but why can I run 12 miles this past Saturday with no stops but feel like I'm going to die on Thursday at 1.8 miles? It makes no sense to me. Sure, we run a bit faster on Thursdays, but it's only 4 miles total and I've had to start walking around 2 miles each time recently. What's the deal?
I think it's all mental. I have never doubted myself in any of my group runs with the class. I just get out there and do it. No questions asked, no doubt. But on Thursdays, I keep stopping. I just don't get it. Could it be that I'm so comfortable with my running friend that I'm okay with asking her to stop? And with the group I don't want to rock the boat? I don't know - but I never feel like stopping with the group class.
On Sundays I run an easy 3 mile recovery solo - my only solo run of the week and it always goes faster that I anticipate with seemingly no effort. So what's the deal?
This is something I'd like to figure out to get my head on straight and get the most of my training. Any suggestions would be welcome!!