In the fall, you will fly

I started running about a year ago. I started running thirteen years ago when I was on the cross country team in seventh grade, but a year ago is when I started running and kept it up enough to get stronger and better. I did my half marathon in February, and I kept running through the summer in Mississippi, when it was horribly hot and constantly drenched in sweat, grinding out my 12:30 miles and feeling like it was just too hard.

I go running with a friend pretty regularly, and I sometimes go running with the local running group. They’re all a lot faster than me, but it’s still nice to run with other people and have it be an event, rather than just me and my audiobooks. On one of those running group runs, where it’s 90 degrees and humid and you feel like you’re dying the whole time, the woman who runs the group said that these runs are hard now, but if you stick with it and keep training through the heat, you’ll fly in the fall.

This week, it finally got a little cooler in Mississippi. I don’t think we’re all the way to the end of 80 degree days, but the cooler weather has made running so much easier. Easier enough that I hit two PRs this week, which I’m incredibly proud of.

On Thursday, I ran a 5k with my friend. It was a smaller, local race, and I definitely went into it with the mindset of hitting a PR. My goal was running ten minute miles and hitting a PR.

I made it. 9:56 miles, PR met.

Today, I had a 6.5 mile run on my training plan. I woke up this morning, and it wasn’t hot at all, and I had that goal – hitting a PR on my 10k time. I also wanted to do longer than the 6.5 miles, because this week I’ve been thinking of this (silly? unreasonable?) idea of running another half marathon at the beginning of December, so I wanted to push up my long run mileage right now. I figure if I did 7 miles today, I can do eight miles next weekend, then nine, ten, eleven, and probably be good to go at the beginning of December.

I made it. 1:12:02. Somehow I ran a 9:44 mile after having already run five miles. Check it out on Strava, the splits are kind of ridiculous.

Running felt amazing today. It was cool, and quiet, and I barely saw anyone on the trail – it was perfect. When I felt tired, it was 100% in my legs, not my lungs, which is a good feeling, a nice switch from barely being able to breathe in the summer.

I’ve found that running can be a great push in helping me find a balance between teaching and life – having a goal that I care about, that I want to work towards, and that has nothing to do with teaching has helped me to put down the grading, put down the computer, and just focus on running.