Today I went for my last run of 2010. I know there is one more day left in the year, but I am planning to start the new year with a long run on Saturday and I prefer to keep my runs to alternate days. Plus, I needed a good hit of cardio to balance out the rest of my day sitting in the bleachers at my son’s wrestling tournament.
The day didn’t start the way I planned. First, I woke up at 4:44. That’s too early on a work day and WAY too early on a day off when my first “appointment” is to check out BJs with my husband when they open at 9:00. I had set my alarm for 6:00 and still thought that was a good plan, so I stayed in bed and luckily fell back asleep.
When I woke up again and checked the time it was 6:30. Ack! Well, I still had plenty of time for my run, but I wouldn’t be able to enjoy a bottomless cup of coffee afterwards. (It turns out I’d turned on my 6:00 am “weekend” alarm, and of course it’s not the weekend yet, even though it feels like it. Sometimes a smart phone can be too smart!)
It was a “balmy” 30F, so I put on my lighter running tights, new fuzzy top (with thumb holes), windbreaker, hat and gloves.
Getting a head start on my Runner’s Resolutions, I walked for about 1/3 mile before starting my run. I chose my “Xmas Run” playlist and started on my “usual” 4.5 mile route. Everything felt good (my ITB just whispered) and I could tell that my pace was good.
Somewhere along the way I decided that I should end the year with a 5 mile run. I could have added a lap or two on the high school track, but I didn’t want to risk embarrassing my son in case any teammates were running laps to make weight. So, I had to add another segment on my neighborhood streets, which meant another hill.
I hit mile 5 a bit sooner than I expected, but I stopped running to leave myself a decent distance to walk for my cool down. (Maybe there is something to this notion of writing down your goals!)
As soon as I got in the house, I started the coffee pot and headed to my basement gym to stretch. I even threw in some time on the foam roller. I am willing to do what it takes to stay healthy, even if it means waiting 10 more minutes for that cup of coffee!
My Garmin tells me that I covered 5.06 miles at an average pace of 9:36. That includes my usually slower first mile (9:45) and several slightly faster miles (9:25). It seems that my pace is getting faster, and I’m sure the fact that my ITB doesn’t feel like a cable wound too tight is making a difference. I also have to give credit to finally losing those “last 5 pounds” and my three-days-per-week weight training routine.
Running is just plain awesome when all the pieces come together.
I’m so glad to be ending 2010 on a “runner’s high” note. What are you doing to finish the year strong? How are you going to start 2011 on the right foot?