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#agony #ecstasy

After two pretty bad longs runs where I trudged and dredged through snow and slush and watched the outline of Christy get smaller and smaller on the horizon as the gap between us continued to widen, I finally felt really good about yesterday’s run.

The day before, on Friday, we ran 5 miles at what was supposed to be a 9:05/mile pace.  And while I miraculously made the goal, I didn’t feel good about it.  Because I physically felt terrible during the run.

So I wasn’t sure exactly how Saturday was going to go—a 9 mile run at a 9:20/mile pace

I know overall that I need to get more serious about hydration, eating better, and sleeping during this training cycle. I also know that I need to get more serious about getting serious.

My routine on Friday night/Saturday morning was pretty much the same: pasta meal of sorts, TRY to get to bed early, wake up 90 minutes before I head out the door, pick out my clothes, feed the cats, feed the dog, let the dog out, and eat breakfast.   I did two things differently this Saturday, however:  completed a series of neck and back stretches and packed some different fuel.

Since October’s marathon I’ve been using left over, year-old GU and I just didn’t have the stomach to put any of that in my body so I improvised and grabbed a packet of Skinny Cow chocolates and Snyder pretzels (this is only an idea I thought of because Christy has eaten similar foods on a run before).

A little bit 'o sugar, a little bit 'o salt.  Yummy!

A little bit ‘o sugar, a little bit ‘o salt. Yummy!

I won’t keep you in suspense any longer.  I not only met my goal, I exceeded it—9 miles at a 9:14/mile pace.  And at the risk of being a little too self congratulatory, I’d like to point out that parts of this route are VERY HILLY!  But I digress…

How did I do it?  The stretching?  The different fuel at mile 5.75?  Making my mind up? I have no bloody idea.

Some runs are terrible when they “should” be great; some runs are great when they “should” be terrible. Some runs are terrible the day after a great run.  Some runs are great the day after a terrible run.

There are some variables, for me, that seem to logically account for why runs are great and why runs are terrible. There are some variables, for me, that seem to NOT logically account for why runs are great and why runs are terrible.

And that, for me, is both the agony and ecstasy of running.  I don’t know about you, but I could use a lot more ecstasy and a lot less agony.

Carry on friends, carry on.

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