Sunday, June 8, 2014

Negative Splits

Yesterday's run was one that I'd love to bottle up and save forever.  The sky threatened rain as I headed out, but no rain fell until hours after my run, and the cloud cover made for a cooler run.  My legs felt powerful, my core was strong, my heart and lungs clicked along without any protest.  I ran several of the hills in my neighborhood, which have sometimes loomed large in the past.  Yesterday, they were easy as pie.  It was a run where I felt like I could go forever feeling free, energized, and strong.

When I set out, I had no firm plans.  I wanted to run 5 or 6 miles, and I hoped to achieve negative splits.  I felt good about my negative split goal through mile 4.  When I realized I had run that one in 9:24, however, I wasn't sure that I could continue to speed up for 2 more miles.  I thought I'd be lucky to just hang on to that pace.  Mile 5 felt surprisingly easy (another 9:24), and I glanced at my watch as I began mile 6.  It read 8:03AM, or 3 minutes past the hour I'd promised my husband I'd be home.  Not only did I need to beat a 9:24 mile to continue my negative splits, but I also had to book it in order to relieve my husband of kid duties.  I cranked it up, finishing out the run with an 8:41 mile.

A work of art that only a runner would appreciate: perfect negative splits :)
Elated doesn't even begin to describe how I felt at the end of this run.  This was my longest run since I admitted that I was injured in early April.  Running 6 miles, feeling strong and healthy throughout, left me with an incredible sense of accomplishment.  As I stood in my kitchen, stretching my quads as my kids filled me in on their morning, I felt invincible and ready to conquer the world.  It's a feeling I need to commit to memory so I can draw on it in the future when running - or life - feels like too much to handle.  The struggles will always come, but if I can remember this incredible feeling of triumph, I will survive the low points and return to victory.