Today's completed run: 8 miles
Pace: 8:25 avg
There are several important things
1. It rocked.
2. I wore shorts. In January.
3. I hit a personal record (PR) for my mile time - 7:41 min. And I did it on mile 7.
4. I ate well all day leading up to the run.
5. I got enough sleep last night.
6. Matt Chandler's sermons on Ecclesiastes continue to rock and challenge me to think deeply. I listened to the second one today.
Numbers 2, 4, and 5 are a magical combination of wonderfulness (yup) that lead to numbers 1 and 3. First of all, running in shorts today made me realize that I may have been overdressing. Suiting up for winter runs is hard for me, because I spend most of winter being extremely cold. My internal thermostat is wonky; I wear leggings under my pants as soon as it gets to be 45 or below. This constant coldness likely has been leading me to wear too much while running for fear of being cold. Today, it was 48 degrees - the temperature where I never know what to wear. But it wasn't windy, so I went with shorts; and it was the best decision, as I kept a wonderful body temperature the whole time.
As for numbers 4 and 5, I know what you're thinking -- Duh! And you're right; these things are obvious to most people. If you eat well and sleep enough, your performance will improve. For some reason, I'm still learning this.
Number 1 is most important because, as of yesterday, I felt like I was in or heading into a slump. Apparently, I just needed some sleep and some fuel. As for number 3, well, it's just exciting. I've really enjoyed improving as a runner this year, but I don't have aspirations of being ridiculously fast. I don't have the body type (i.e., long legs) that runners who were clearly born to run possess. I'm okay with this; I run for distance, not for speed. Still, it's exciting to run a sub-8:00 mile, on mile 7 of 8, no less.
I needed today's run to propel me forward in training. We all have days where the run is miserable, but the days where the run is amazing significantly outweigh those. A run like today will carry me through several miserable runs in the future. (Please remind me of that after Saturday's 20-miler.)