My Fastest and My Slowest Runs – Back to Back

I. DID. IT!!!

I broke the 9:00 minute pace for the half marathon distance!!! No, I didn’t just break it, I damn well shattered it – finishing 13.1 miles with an 8:38 pace, and a final time of 1:53:06!

If Wednesday was the day I set out to break records and just ended up breaking the company car, Thursday was the day I set out for a slow and steady run and ended up feeling like an Olympian!

I initially planned on just doing seven miles yesterday. Somewhere along the way though (I’m not sure if I actually had myself convinced on the ride to the trail head or if it was in that first mile) but I decided to just go ahead and do my long run for the week. I mentioned in my last blog post that I have been trying really hard to obtain a new 13.1 PR, but I didn’t expect yesterday to be it at all.

First of all, I wasn’t mentally prepared – I was just winging it.

Second, I wasn’t physically prepared – my pre-run snack was simply a banana, which was all that was soaking up the two glasses of white wine and the White Russian I had the night before!

The first mile I actually did in 9:05. I wanted to avoid starting out too fast like I had done the day prior, so I decided to go out pretty slow. After warming up on mile one there was no holding back! Every mile after that was in the 8:00s, including the ones I took walking breaks on!

So what happened? How did I end up PRing by at least -:22/mi? I have no real idea, but I have two guesses:

First – the booze. I am a firm believer that I do my best running on a few drinks the night before. For the marathon it was jaeger bombs with the Canadians the night before. At Tulsa Sean and I had quite a few drinks at the hotel rooftop bar downtown. That’s what they mean by carbo-loading isn’t it?

Second – something to keep my mind busy! Since graduating Mizzou I haven’t had too much stressing me out or to think about really. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve certainly had adventures, and while those are fun to replay, there isn’t much forward thinking to that. This week I’ve had some fodder for the daydreaming that inevitably happens when you’re running for two hours. Being able to keep my mind off the running itself, at least for the first few miles, always helps with the whole run. (Once I go beyond mile five though all I’m thinking about is what’s for breakfast!)

The run itself was one of those where I kept talking myself into going harder. First I was just going to do an easy run, then I decided to push it until mile 4, then mile 7, then 9 and suddenly I had committed to keeping up sub 8:00s for the entire run. That’s certainly the Type-A in me. I thought this trail was going to be pretty flat too, but around mile three I realized I was headed up into the mountains. That kept me motivated, knowing the way back would be a breeze!

I finished and I absolutely couldn’t believe it. How does someone PR by that much?! I almost wonder if I could have been doing this all along. I suppose it doesn’t really constitute a PR because it wasn’t a race, but I’m still counting it! Now I can’t wait to get an official chip-time with numbers like this! The one downside of this job is always working weekends and not being able to rack up many races!

So with the fastest run of my life yesterday, I decided today probably should be one of my slowest. That being said, I always struggle to run slowly. Again – it’s the Type A in me. I’m an all-in kind of girl, in every part of my life! Go big or go home! I’m pretty much passionate about everything I do, so it’s sometimes hard for me to reign it in.

Somehow, today I managed to! It actually was kind of fun running at a slower pace than I’m used to because it was just as much of a challenge as the PR! I almost managed a 10:00 min pace for this reverse PR run. (Which is not slow, just slower than what I’m used to!) It felt good to still get some miles in, but to run to run and not worry in the slightest about my times. (Not that I really care about my times all that much anyway – it’s always fun to do well, but I’m never sad if I’m slower than usual.)

And there you have it. The fastest run of my life so far and my slowest. Not a bad week for running out here in Claremont, CA!

I’ll leave you with one funny photo. Every day I’ve been running passed this darn sign and it just kills me that they haven’t fixed this. It’s such a glaring error!

One thought on “My Fastest and My Slowest Runs – Back to Back

  1. i’m typing this on a french computer on a zinc bar in provence with a pastis in hand so I salute you./ with a cheer, brava Kelly! I think the key to your success was your relaxation. you had done all of the work, went out, and blew it away, What a lovely way to think of your 10 minute mile as a challenge equal to the idea of a pr, having power and holding it in reserve is a beautiful practice. Setting pr\s makes running sooo addictive.

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