Sundays are fun... email and text race results/reports coming in from all over and then I check FB and see all the pictures from races across the country. Looks like such a blast! Makes me super stoked to start racing. I get to race 2 out of the next 3 weeks so my turn is coming! :) And the timing is spot on... something about the sun coming up earlier and going down later and the weather is getting warmer and it just feels like race time. I love this time of year.
It's funny... I've had some killer training days lately and I think about posting all the details here and then change my mind and think it's really nobody's business... and besides does anyone really even care? And then think I should just keep it to myself and wait to let it all out on race day... But this weekend was just too good and I can't keep it in. How funny is that?? So here you go... :)
My plan for today was to go out and try to PR my Gardens run... It's a beautiful (very hilly) route that I'm sure I've posted about before... I remember when this run used to take me ~1:45 (like 7 years ago) because I couldn't actually run up all the hills... then finally I got strong enough to run the whole thing without walking and that was a huge step forward... then I remember being stoked that it was only taking me ~90' to run... then in the past couple years I was consistently doing it in 1:27-1:28. Once last year I had the green light to really get after it and was stoked to get <1:25! Yeehaw! So this year I've tried a couple times to TT it. On New Years Day I went out to set a benchmark for myself for 2012 and came in at 1:23. That seemed like an awesome start for the year! The second time I tried for a fast one I crushed my old PRs at every time check and came in at 1:21:07. I was so stoked about that one.
So all week I've been gearing up for cracking 1:20 on this course today... A couple days of rest and some easier workouts earlier in the week gave me some breakthrough workouts across the board s/b/r in the last few days so I was feeling fairly confident that I'd have a good run today... of course I biked 94 miles yesterday including 3 x 30' sections in the second half of that ride where I was just drilling it at over 70.3 race pace power. That didn't hurt me too badly though b/c I was able to run 4 miles off the bike at 70.3 goal race pace and it didn't feel that hard. But today I thought my best bet to PR the Gardens run would be to spin it out for about an hour on the bike first (I always run better off the bike than I do just running) and then try to run. I think that was a good call b/c my legs felt pretty darn heavy for the first bit on the bike... but of course they came around after about an hour so I gave myself the green light to get after it on the run!
I started off feeling super and light and easy but not slow... I have intermittent time checks on this route that I know... for whatever reason I never wear a garmin on this route... somehow that would ruin it for me... this route stays more 'pure' in my mind when I just start my Timex and go for it without worrying about actual miles splits. Anyway, I got to the turn-around in <40' which is a first (42:11 was my previous best!) and knew I was on my way to sub 1:20 b/c I always negative split this run... and sure enough, negative split by nearly 2' and got home in 1:17:52. Excuse my language here but HOLY SHIT!!!! I was stoked. Huge PR 3+' on this route. I am just beside myself at the moment. :)))
You know, I have worked so hard so consistently year after year after year after year... and for the first time really I feel like my run is actually (finally!) coming around. You hear (or read) all the time that hard work eventually pays off and I have lived by that for so long and even when I wasn't seeing huge results I just kept after it and kept diligently consistently chipping away at it... and finally now I feel like I've had this breakthrough. I wrote in my TP notes today that I feel like I'm a different runner now. So anyway, we'll see if I can run like that in the next few weeks when it actually (sort of) matters at these races. I think I'll be able to. Stay tuned! :)