I'm finally starting to feel like I'm getting that kind of pace ability back. If you've been paying attention, you've noticed that I've been more concerned with building my endurance back rather than my speed. This has been a tough thing for me because on the inside I'm raring to go and wanting to focus on both. However, I felt it was best to be conservative when I got to start running again in February, and I still stand behind this decision.
I can always work on speed once I'm back in my marathon frame of fitness. There will be other marathons. Honestly? I'm just going to be happy to be running in the Chicago marathon. It's going to be amazing whether I get a new PR or not. (That's not to say I don't want one. I do. But I've decided that if it doesn't happen, I'll get back into training and start working on speed again.)
But here's the thing. Even though I wanted to be conservative... even though I wanted to just focus on endurance first... even though I'm happy with taking it easy and getting back in shape... I still kind of want to get faster. :)
So I was thrilled tonight when I ran my 5 miles in 43:55... an average pace of 8:47.
Could I do it for 13 miles yet? NO.
But was I ecstatic that I've now been able to keep around a 9:00 average pace (if not a little faster) on my tempo runs for a few weeks now? HECK YES!
I even ran a negative split. Granted, it was negative by 5 seconds so it's more like I ran a consistent split... but hey! That rocks!
My ankle was fine. My nasal passages were fine. My only issue is that my left shin is a little displeased, but I'm not terribly worried about that. After running for 12 years, I've learned that sore shins sometimes come with the territory. Although, I still think it's odd that ALL of the aches and pains I've had since I've started running again have been in my left leg, the one I wasn't allowed to walk on for a month. It seems to me that we're just not meant to not use our limbs...
Anyways, it was a great run and it got me really excited. I'm about to get into the 18- and 20-milers of this training cycle, so it's nice to have this little confidence booster. Even though I've run 4 marathons and I KNOW I can do this, I still get nervous before these super long runs.