Lately I've had a more relaxed attitude towards training. I'm still running workouts and putting in the miles, but I'm not stressing about running mega crazy or mega long workouts. I've also given myself permission to skip some of the interval stuff (which seems to stress me out for some reason), and simply focus on tempo runs (which keeps me more relaxed).
Why the relaxed attitude? Well, my mindset last year was a bit intense, and honestly I needed a change of pace. I can only be intense so long. Also, a lot is changing all at once: Kaylee just started first grade, I'm going back to work full-time in October, and Emily will be starting preschool in a few weeks. Really there's just more important stuff going on. So, when I embarked on my solo 20 miler early Sunday morning, I didn't have a firm goal in mind. I thought it would be nice to run around 7:35ish pace, but that was about it.
As you can see from the picture, I ran faster, and it was a huge shock to me. I can only guess that cooler temps played an integral role in my legs wanting to move faster. The run didn't feel harder than any of my other long runs, but those runs were done on warmer more humid days. But still, I was completely taken aback. Then I was wondering if I'd be sore on Monday. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a tiny bit stiff, but nothing was really sore, and I managed a 12 miler on Monday.
Now I'm left wondering what this means for BayState, which is in 5 weeks. My planned marathon pace was 7:03, and having just run a 20 plus miler at a faster pace, well, it seems as though my planned pace should change. Then I also have to wonder if I just peaked, and will be left at the marathon start line with no wind in my sails (and just this picture of my Garmin). But you know what, now that I'm thinking about, I don't even care. I'm sure my attitude will change as race day approaches, but for now I'm still shocked and excited that I was able to maintain a sub 7:00 minute pace for a 20 miler. That's good enough...for now.
Unrelated to running
Can I tell you a funny story? It's completely unrelated to running, but it's fun anyway. A few weeks ago Nick asked: "Can I borrow your crock pot?" I must have taken too long to respond because he followed up his question with: "Aren't you going to ask me why I want to use the crock pot?" To which I responded with raised eyebrows and, "well, I'm about 99% sure you don't plan to cook something..." As I'm scrunching up my face in what I imagine to be a look of suspicion, I add: "This doesn't have something to do with your RC truck does it? Because if you're planning to put chemicals in the crock pot, then the answer is definitely no." Nick suddenly looked shocked and amused and blurted out, "how did you know!" Then he laughed and started telling me how he had read that some people use crock pots to clean their RC truck engines, and while he didn't really plan to try it, he wanted to see what I'd say if he asked (as a joke). The moral of the story? First, wives are psychic. Second, crock pots are only for cooking.