I used to think it was narcissistic to admit to being a fast runner. Heck, I even felt that way about trying to be a fast runner.
The first 5k I ever ran was the Canterbury Run in Madison, WI. I tried to stay at the back, despite actually wanting to run faster, because I didn't want to be one of those annoying people who pushed others out of the way.
The second 5k I ran was the Germanfest Run in Milwaukee. I started out running with my friend visiting from France but then thought, heck, it's such a beautiful night; why not run my heart out? So I did and really surprised myself by coming in 3rd woman. I didn't even look at what my time was since it meant nothing to me and I found the whole thing embarassing.
Not long after I met SR, he made it known to me that he was "the fastest runner in La Crosse". This is, of course, where we were living. And I was like, God, he seems like such a nice guy, why would he say something like that?
Shortly after, he invited me to a race with him. It was, appropriately enough, the Valentine's Heartthrob 5k. It was -10F that morning, but that was weather I was used to running in. I had never actually tried to run fast in a race, but I wanted to impress him nonetheless. I came in second woman with a time of just under 23 minutes. And I realized how fun it was. Just as an aside, I have to point out the SR also came in second, despite being the fastest man in the city :).
Since that time, SR has been on my case to train right and get faster. But I didn't really see the point. I figured I was "fast enough" and just wanted my slow spiritual runs. I didn't want days off of running. I didn't want anything to change. And I wasn't fully convinced I'd even get faster.
But then I had a change of heart. Maybe it was becoming a 30 year old mom. I figured if everything stays the same, I'll only get slower and more out of shape, and I was already seeing signs of it. But there was no reason I could not be the fastest I had ever been and in the shape of my life. And why should a 30 year old mom be ashamed to do that?
Since this fall, my weeks have consistently had an 8 mile tempo run, 6 x 1 mile intervals and a long, long run. The days in between are relative rest days, but always involve swimming and usually yoga. In all, I'm definitely spending less time exercising, which works a bit better with my schedule, of course.
Today was my 8 mile tempo run. And I knew it was time to break my training record. I knew I had gotten faster. I ran a marathon in the snow on Sunday, but couldn't even feel it in my legs. It was on my usual route. I ran the first 5k in 22:20 and knew I could step it up. The 10k was in 44:30 and the full 8 miles in 57:14. Okay, it may not sound that fast, but it was just a training run and not a race.
Here are my previous 8 mile tempos on the same route starting in the fall:
(you may be thinking there are a lot of missing weeks there, but that is either because we ran a race or trained with the track club that week)
As I made it through the 8 miles I heard Rasmus Seebach sing "hvor er hun dog yndig" and I was sure he was singing about me. I have become such a confident runner. I am excited about trying to break my old PRs this spring and summer. Call it narcissistic but at least call it effective. It is just a question of believing you can get faster and sticking to a plan. Thank you SR! I love you!