Taking 5 days off out of the 7 days last week seems to have paid off! I got in some solid bike rides during my break and then came back yesterday with a fun running club run under rainbow filled post-storm skies.
Much to my delight, running club has added a third group this year, meaning there’s now a walk-run group (~2 miles of 2 min on/1 off), a medium run group (3-4 miles at 10-12 min pace average), and a longer/faster run group (4-6 miles at 8:30 pace average). This means I now have a more comfortable group to run with (12 min pace doesn’t agree with my IT band, sadly) and some speedsters to attempt to keep up with! The longer run group consists of about 5 guys and 1 other woman who also rides with my cycling club. We had a blast this week striding along through the sagebrush together and chatting as we wound through the trails.
We actually may have had a bit too much fun, as the pace quickened into the sub-8 range towards the end, bringing us to 6 miles at 48 minutes on the dot. On the plus side, I just ran what I thought was going to be my early season/altitude 10k pace for 6 miles at easier-than-tempo-run effort, and on a non-twinging foot! On the downside, as soon as the endorphins and post-run beer buzz wore off I started thinking about how far even 7:50 pace would be off my 10k times from ‘back when I was in shape’.
I recognized these feelings of dissatisfaction this morning and worked to turn them around, reminding myself to be grateful for the rejuvenated foot and the unexpectedly quick 6-miler. Looking at the past and wishing for a magic return to fitness is pointless…and frustrating.
Instead, I’m focusing back in on the moment and the joy that my current level of fitness brings to me. Even if my body isn’t as quick as it was in college, I can still find joy in my ability to get out most days of the week to run or bike, to enjoy a nice weekend long run (hour+, wootwoot!), and to put in the satisfying hard effort of my weekly tempo/fartlek/hill rep session.
Thankfully, endorphins don’t care about absolute speed 😉