Hello! I know, I know. I didn’t upload my weekly Spin Monday post yesterday. I am traveling for work this week and had gotten a sub to instruct for me before I headed out to DC, which happens to be my very favorite place to run! It never gets old for me. Running amongst the monuments on the National Mall, there is so much history. So much to remember- what we stand for as a country and all those who have given their lives to preserve our freedom. It’s incredible.
This morning, I headed out of my hotel for an 8 mile pace run. I had mentioned to my coach how much I love running in DC and didn’t want to schedule a rest day while I was here, so instead, he gives me speed work. Cruel? Well, that was my first thought :). But, I gave myself several positive self-talks this morning and got myself out the door. I had the giddyups from the get go. My 1 mile warm up was too fast. I was so excited to get on the National mall and look ahead to the Washington Monument, I couldn’t seem to slow my feet. So, instead, I went with it. Starting my “pace” about a half mile in to the run. It felt natural. It felt effortless at first- which is rare when it comes to pace runs for me! My target pace was 8:10 and I was fluctuating between 7:40 and 8:00. I knew I probably wouldn’t be able to hold the pace, but for now, I was just running what felt good. The mall was crowded with other runners and some tourists taking in the sights. I’m not going to lie, the ability and opportunity to pass a few guys and leave them behind me gave me motivation and determination to keep my pace. I ran down to the Lincoln Memorial and turned to loop back on the opposite side of the mall towards the Capitol. And I realized, the first leg of this run was effortless because I was being pushed by gusting winds. Now, as I headed straight into the winds, it was taking a lot more effort. Just as I was starting to tell myself it’s ok to slow down, just a little, to an 8:30 pace, I passed a small group of construction workers, I heard one yell out “whoa! she’s fast!” Smiling, I kept my determination and my pace. I only had a few miles going in to the wind before I would turn back towards the Lincoln Memorial for my second loop. I could definitely do this. My legs were fresh and strong. The air was clear and my breathing was easy. I was not going to die if I pushed myself through this. I maintained my pace and was even running faster than my target. I turned out of the wind for my second loop and told myself to take advantage of the wind at my back and fly. I was nailing this run. I knew it. And I had the confidence to get through it. I was counting down the miles. Only 3 more miles at pace. 1.5 miles until I would turn around and head back to the hotel. Time and miles were ticking by. I was targeting runners on the trail and passing by them. Making my pace run into a game. Instead of thinking about work, my responsibilities at the conference, or any other distractions, I was focused on my run. I was honed in to how I was feeling. And I was feeling great. With this view, how could you not??
As I turned back towards the Capitol, I knew I only had 1.5 miles to go into the wind. I could hold it strong. Focusing on the mile I was running and nothing else. My goal was to stay steady mile by mile. I was running back into the wind at this point and my legs were turning to jello. I knew I could hold it though. What’s another mile? 🙂 Finally, the Capitol came into view and I knew the cool down was near. My average pace with my faster warm up and 7.5 miles at pace was 7:56. Everything came together for me on this run. AND it just happened to come together at my favorite running destination. I can’t wait to head back out tomorrow for an easy run and enjoy the sights one more time before heading home.
What is your rave run?