Saturday, January 31, 2009

Testing the limits

I run my LSD runs at a faster pace than my weekday shorter runs. I suppose that means calling then long, slow days is inaccurate. But having long fast days and short slow runs on weekdays sounds ridiculous -- even if it is true.

Running with a partner pushes me to go beyond my comfort level. I can't get away with an easy pace because I'm accountable to someone else. So I (mostly) rise to the occasion. I will my legs to go faster and my lungs to keep working. I start estimating where the next quarter mile falls and staring at that point until I reach it -- and discover I've gotten worse at determining quarter miles!

We ran today's 4 miler in only ten minutes more time than last week's 3 miler -- and given that our pace is generally slow than a 10-minute mile, this is an exciting thing. It means we were faster this week.

Tiffany, who often morphs into my personal trainer, told me -- as she sped up -- that she had a goal for me to shave 15 minutes off my half marathon time. Days like today remind me it is possible. I'm faster in community, and I like that. Nice little theological moment showing how much we really do need each other. I need Tiffany to believe for me when I feel my body is going to give out -- it never does, but it's hard to believe that alone. She needs me to say "hey, guess what -- we're going to be marathoners." I guess I believe for her that we can tackle distance. Who knows, without each other, she may be content to be a 10k runner, and I'd be a happy 13 minute miler! With her -- as she so kindly pointed out -- I get to test my limits. And so far, I'm crashing through the barriers.

3 more pounds down this week. Hoping to lose 20 by race day...