My running slump is no longer. I feel restored. Rejuvenated. Jubilant, even!
Spoiler alert: The Bronx 10-Mile was THAT good for me. All of Sunday was spent on a running high. RUNNING FINALLY DECIDED TO ME NICE TO ME AGAIN. Thank you, run gods.
No, scratch that. Thank you, again, to LORA for convincing me that running sans Garmin was something I could actually do. And SURVIVE.
I’m not quite ready to throw in the proverbial Garmin towel yet, but I can absolutely understand the benefits of running without technology…for me, it elicited a super positive mental attitude, something I had been missing for awhile now. I definitely want to start running Garmin-less more now.
Let’s start from the beginning. I started off feeling iffy about the race. The news that I needed an MRI shook me up a little. I was mildly worried that my legs might fall off or explode. (FYI they didn’t, in case you were wondering.) On Saturday night I went to a surprise birthday dinner for a friend and ate my face off. And maybe drank a glass or two of wine. Laughed A LOT and stayed up a little too late. (But honestly, “too late” for me means 11:30pm. You crazy kids probably think that’s early, but my normal bedtime is 10 at the latest. So cool.) You might be thinking that my irregular choice of pre-race activity is insane. However, I have a theory regarding pre-race fueling that involves eating a big ol’ dinner and remaining satiated enough on race morning that you don’t even have to worry about breakfast. I swear to you it works…for me…for the shorter runs at least.
I made it to the Bronx from my house in New Jersey in approximately 37 minutes, which is absolutely unheard of. (I promise I was going the speed limit, Mom!) No traffic, beautiful skies. I even (obviously) crossed a bridge and STILL didn’t have to touch the brakes. Success!
So there I was, super early. I had time to stretch and hydrate and chat with my friend Beth and my future Ragnar teammate Annie (who is amazingly also from Iowa).
Sidenote: Why do we refer to it as “THE Bronx”? No one, including me, ever says “I’m going to Bronx.” Where did that “the” come from? Random.
So, off we went. I ran totally by feel, which is all you can do when you don’t have a watch flashing numbers at you, I suppose. Who would have thought, running based on what your body says?! What a novel idea. (I did, however, keep looking at my bare wrist out of habit.) The course was an out-and-back with a couple extra loops tacked on for good measure. I actually liked it. I liked knowing what was coming in the second half. I also noticed it felt much easier to pick up the pace when I saw the front of the pack coming back down the other side of the street. Adrenaline? Jealousy? Pretty sure I was at mile 4-ish when the top men and women passed me on the other side at, like, mile seven. What’s that like, guys and gals?
I remained fairly nervous in the first 4 or so miles that I was a) going out too fast or b) my legs were still going to fall off. After miles 5-6 I became much more confident. Nothing was hurting. My pace still felt easy. There was a clock at each mile marker so I was roughly calculating my times, and they were right where I thought they should be. My breathing wasn’t belabored. So, I picked it up a little. I took a gel and started drinking more water. I feel like I really listened to my body perfectly, and it thanked me by staying strong. (Have I said “listened to my body” enough yet in this post? I know it’s cliche but still oh-so-true.) Even though I began the race with apprehension, the whole time I was all “Weeeee running!! I love running!! Hooray for running!”. Around mile 8 I found one of my coworkers and as we chatted I picked up my still semi-leisurely pace. I pushed it toward the finish line and crossed tired and ecstatic.
My overall time/pace wasn’t anything to write home about (relative to other races I’ve run), but the way I felt was. I’ve been running even slower in some shorter runs lately and feeling like absolute crap. On Sunday I ran longer and a little faster and felt wonderful. Was it because my Garmin wasn’t playing mental games with me? Was it the weather? My unconventional fueling methods? Maybe a little of everything. All I know is that I NEEDED that boost of confidence.
Now I just want my splits. Sigh. Will I ever change?