8:35 Doesn’t Feel Slow Anymore

Today, Mike and I woke up at 5:20 am (so early and dark out!) to run 6-miles at marathon pace. The weather was actually perfect with a little sun coming out before turning into a gray and cloudy day. Mike and I turned on the Virtual Trainer feature for the first time on our GPS watches. The Virtual Trainer will alert you, after you select your goal pace, with a beep if you are behind, ahead or right on pace. The beeps are not that frequent so you do still need to look at your watch when trying to stay at a steady pace. However, the on pace beep has a different sound than the behind or ahead of pace beeps so we could tell we were on pace without looking at our watch, by the end of the run. We were a little all over the board today as far as pacing. 8:24, 8:35, 8:29, 8:23, 8:15, 8:24

I miss thinking 8:35 is a slow, easy pace. Before my calf strain, I’d easily run 7:45 on our Mall runs. 8:35 is the fastest I have run in a month. It is not easy getting back to where I was before the strain and the time off from running. My cardiovascular level is also not where it used to be. I couldn’t help but think how in the world I’m going to run 26.2 miles at this pace! I used to be able to talk and run at that pace, easily. This morning I was just focusing on keeping the pace up.
I am realizing how mental this journey is going to be. When I started to have negative thoughts pop up during the run, wondering how I will be able to finish 26.2 miles at this pace, I pictured myself in past races, running strong, running fast and feeling good. I’m glad I have a bank of race memories to draw from and inspire me when I start to doubt my abilities.

But our pace was actually pretty fast – not the point of the pace run but it made me feel good! Running faster than 8:35 helped put 8:35 in perspective, as well.

Luckily it was just a 6 mile run because the last 0.5 mile was a little rough – I was running pretty fast because I wanted to get home to use the bathroom. I had some lingering stomach issues at the end of the run, but it still was a major improvement from Saturday’s planking run.

Also, I need to stop eating spicy food. I say that after every time I have spicy food. But now that I’m running so much, it’s going to affect my performance. I went to my favorite salad place for lunch, Sweetgreen, and deviated from my normal Guacamole Greens (bad idea) to try the Spicy Sabzi. The kale and baby spinach salad came with raw beets, corn, spicy quinoa, spicy broccoli, and roasted tofu. But Sweetgreen was out of the last two ingredients so I subbed avocado and tomatoes in. I don’t know why I said yes to the Sriacha drizzle at the end either. I would have preferred tofu, though, but it was probably good that they were out of the spicy broccoli. It was a pretty delicious though – so fresh! Sadly, I had a stomachache afterwards. So next time I’m staying away from the Sabzi and going back to Guacamole Greens!

Spicy Sabzi salad from Sweetgreen (sadly, minus the tofu)

Spicy Sabzi salad from Sweetgreen (sadly, minus the tofu)

Delicious dinner tonight – Harvest Grains from Trader Joe’s, thinly sliced chicken and pork marinated in Soyaki from Trader Joe’s, and roasted squash, zucchini and onions.

Dinner!

Dinner!

You can tell you are marathon training when your bathroom becomes a giant clothes drying rack (and you do a lot of laundry!).

Our bathroom/clothes drying rack - we need to put a clothes drying rack in our bathtub.

Our bathroom/clothes drying rack – we need to put a clothes drying rack in our bathtub.

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