The Night Before an 11-Mile Tempo Run

It’s been a long week.

Really, really, really long.

As I sit here on a Friday night, grande glass of my favorite white wine in hand, I can honestly tell you I have absolutely no intentions of getting up to do anything other than make dinner and bust into the fresh piece of carrot cake I picked up at Whole Foods on my way home from work. It’s just been one of those weeks where projects at work continued to pile on top of each other and as you worked your way through one problem, more and more seemed to come into scope. Not to say that it was a bad week. I had my first big presentation to senior-level VPs at work on Wednesday to get approval on the project I’ve been running and nailed it. I hit tempos during a 7-mile training run on Wednesday that I haven’t hit in my life (holla 6:40/mile pace!!). And I attempted *and succeeded* at making my first batch of freezer fudge. So even though it’s been a long week, it was a good week for the most part. But I am SO ready for the weekend.

After coming home and plopping myself on the couch, I contemplated whether to check in with all of you lovelies today or focus all of my attention on “the Office” marathon Bart and I are about to dive into. I jumped online, checked social media, and then hopped over to check my training schedule to see what Coach had on the agenda for me tomorrow:

11 miles: 3 miles warm-up, 6 miles @ 7:45 pace, 2 miles cool-down. 

That’s right folks. I’m exhausted and just read that I’ve got to game up for an 11-mile pace run in the AM. But completely contrary to what you may be thinking, I read this and actually got excited. My long run days have definitely been the biggest mental test for me so far, but have been BY FAR the most rewarding. There’s something about conquering over 10-miles on the road before most people are even out of bed that gives me a rush. Probably just my “runner’s high”.

After seeing this though, I knew I actually had something of substance to write about this evening. You see, about 3 years ago, long workouts made me feel good for different reasons. I used to view it as a free pass to eat like a normal person for the day. I could eat a doughnut with friends or go out for drinks and eat late night pizza without feeling guilty. Not that I did, but it was an option in the back of my mind. The workouts themselves were never enjoyable, but the “freedom” afterwards got me through them.

Fast-forward to right now. I’m laying on my couch drinking wine without anticipating burning my calories off dancing out at a club with friends tonight. I bought a big ol’ slice of carrot cake after a lighter workout this morning completely guilt-free. And I saw an 11-mile run on the agenda for tomorrow, and got excited about the run itself.

This is freedom my friends. Not only that, but it’s proof that signing up for a marathon in a few months was a good choice. Running isn’t my way to control what I look like, but just another thing I do that makes me feel really, really good. I’ve put my whole self in my running–something I haven’t been able to do since High School athletics–and I’m already seeing incredible results. I’ve been hitting paces I couldn’t imagine holding for over a mile and running distances pain-free that at one point didn’t seem fathomable.

I’m at the top of my game and only intend on getting stronger. So bring it Vancouver Marathon, I’m comin’ for ya! The competitive & strong Mackenzie is officially back 🙂

Have a fabulous Friday friends!

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