Well, I really started back to running in July, and it finally happened at the tail end of September: I found my stride. I got into that place where you kind of feel like you can run forever. I didn’t repeat my mistake from last week and try to go out too fast. I started with an easy pace, and I stayed there. It went so well, I didn’t have to slow for anything but traffic lights and to grab a drink of water twice.
I ran 6.6 miles, which is near what I would like to be doing regularly for long runs on the weekends. My goal is to do 4 miles on weekdays 2 times a week, do a speed-builder 2-3 miler 1 day a week, and do 8 on the weekend. I am not where I am headed, but I am happy with where I am right now.
The pace that I ended up with today for the long run was 11’51″/mile. I ran for 1 hour and 18 minutes. Back at my beach runs of 1 mile, running for an hour seemed pretty insane. Having run a half marathon before, though, I knew it was possible.
Here’s the thing about finally getting here: I didn’t pressure myself. I didn’t judge myself. I didn’t have any expectations that I should be running faster or farther. I didn’t beat myself up. I knew that what I was doing was adding up to something, and being out there doing what I did and what I could was good enough.
While I ran today, I recalled a little inspiration graphic I’d seen many times before on Pinterest that helps keep things in perspective. Instead of beating myself up that my easy pace is almost a 12-minute mile, I smiled.