It finally happened – I actually ran. Like, really really running. As in, not Hoey Shuffling, not jogging, but real flat-out running.
Jonno said he was actually having to try to keep up with me. Like, fwhaaaa?!
Pat me on the back, go on.
Here’s what contributed to the best run I’ve ever had in my life: left work at 4:30pm, had a wine tasting on the way home (crucial, in my opinion!), had a wee snack of veggie spring rolls and a good glug of H20 before, over-dressed for the cold in gloves and jacket so could peel some layers off and still be comfortable, no wind or rain or any weather to speak of except for a nice not-too-cold temperature, the smell of wood smoke in the autumn air, and a kick-ass playlist. And my husband, whom I may have asked to please stop talking because he was intruding on my zone acquisition, and who was road-testing his Camelbak and so we learned that having waters on the run was waaaaay better than not.
Our handy-dandy Couch to 10K app had us running 15 minutes on and walking 1 minutes off, repeat twice for a total of 45 minutes running. Which is, for the record, the LONGEST I’ve ever run. Again.
We did our usual warm-up up the hill behind our house and went out along Evans Bay Parade, our usual Round The Bays Run. Before we got to the end of the first 15 minute interval, we had already passed Hataitai Beach which used to be our old turnaround point, back in the days when we were running 90 seconds on, 3 minutes off. We’ve come so far!
On our second interval the Paramore song ‘Miracle’ and that has the kickingest-assingest beat/tempo for getting my feet into a really quick pace (for me) and that helped me kick it up a notch from Gear 1 (easy jogging, could do it for hours; as explained by freakish long-distance running coach man that spoke at a Shoe Clinic 10k running clinic I attended a few weeks ago), where I have been living for the past four months of running with a few bright exceptions.
I hit my stride in Gear 2, which is quicker than the Hoey Shuffle and my strides are longer. My muscles remembered that pace from that one quarter in high school when the P.E. teacher actually made us walk and run, when I was hanging around some male athletic types that I was trying to impress/keep up with. The teacher, that devious lady, had us build up our distances of walking and running over the whole quarter, until I was running ¾ of a mile all-out. Or so I thought. Anyway, that was Gear 2.
This is where Freakish Running Coach Man’s speech really came in handy, because he addressed running posture, which has been my downfall forever. He showed a photo of a couple of Ethiopians running all happy and proud, with their heads way up and shoulders back, heels striking the ground just about underneath of them. Next to the Happy Ethiopians was this white guy who was running with his chin slightly down, shoulders hunched a bit forward, heel striking the ground way out in front of his body and generally looking all-around miserable. It was plain as day that the way I was running before, leaning forward and out of alignment, had been causing all my side stitches and breathing issues of old. Now, I have been trying out different little tweaks to my running posture since Jonno and started this whole thing a few months ago, but that photo gave me a blueprint for how I should look and feel when I really get going.
Sorry, tangent over. So we turned around in the middle of the second interval, then hit our walk break and sucked down some water. Holy hydrogen bonds Batman, that really helps curb insane thirst in the middle of a run! Who woulda thought?! Now Jonno is condemned to run with his new friend foreeeeeever.
Interval 3 started off good and then for some insane reason, about 5 or so minutes in, I pushed my pace up another notch. I think I transformed into another person at that moment. I had to work at keeping my shoulders back and my head up so my airway would be as open as possible, basically fighting off the stitches. But I was picking my heels way up and practically leaping from stride to stride and pumping my arms like a madwoman, or at least that’s how it felt, this odd gait called running, this whole-body effort that was more than just moving my feet. At the end of the 15 minutes we still had about 30 seconds of a hill to run up and holy shit run up it we did. At the top I thought I was going to die of lung failure for the next minute, but then it passed and we were done and walking home felt like floating on a magic carpet rigged with a treadmill.
It was epic. I ran. And then we ate garlic bread.
Details: 7.38km in 1:01. Fuck yeah.