Over the past few years, I’ve seen my running go through some different stages and changes. It started in January of 2015, when I ran my first full marathon as a part of the the Goofy Challenge (half marathon and full marathon on back to back days) at Walt Disney World.
I decided, after that point, that I was ready to tackle my first sub 2 hour half marathon. I ended up signing up for a half marathon in March and April of that year. I was going to aim for at least a PR (personal record), with the dream of a sub 2 hour time at one of these two races.
In March, I went for my first attempt at the Montgomery Half Marathon in Alabama. Long story short, I ended up destroying my PR and running a 1:57 half marathon! I was pumped! I hit it on my first try!
Fast forward to the summer of 2015, when I start struggling with some right knee pain. As a long time runner, I’ve dealt with my share of nagging little injuries, but nothing quite like this. I had to start taking more days off and my pace began to slow significantly. Over the next several months, my knee started to feel better and I was able to continue this running journey.
During that period, I also began training for my first Dopey Challenge (5K, 10K, half marathon and full marathon in 4 days) in January 2016. Now, my number one goal for Dopey was to finish injury free and have a good time. So I began to slow my pace down and threw in several walk breaks during my long distance training runs. This helped quite a bit.
For the rest of 2015 and almost all of 2016, I ran multiple half marathons and 2 full marathons. And most importantly, I stayed, for the most part, injury free. However, my pace was definitely slower than it had been in quite a while.
As I moved into 2017, I found myself wanting to work on my pace/speed again. I knew it would take some time, but I was ready to get myself back down to at least an under 10 minute per mile pace. It had been quite a long time since I had seen those numbers on any run over 3-4 miles.
For the past 2-3 months, I’ve been working on speed work. A lot of my runs now have negative splits (which means each mile time gets faster and faster).
16 days ago, I ran a sub 28 minute 5K!
Today I ran 7 miles in 1:07!
My speed and overall pace has improved dramatically over the past few months and I’m feeling great. And the best part is, Rachel’s pace has also improved as well. Even with most of her running being separate from mine.
So last week, we decided to sign up for the Tear Drop Half Marathon in Chatsworth, GA, which is one of the fastest half marathons in Georgia. We are both going to go for a solid time and more than likely run separately, so we can set our own pace. And while I’m not sure I’ll break 2 hours, I do feel good about breaking 2:10, which would be my best half marathon time since 2015. And with Rachel’s current PR of 2:17, I truly believe she is going to break her record by several minutes!
All this to say, I am very happy with my running recently. In fact, just last week, I broke a new milestone on the Nike+ app with 5000 total miles in 5 years! And while I don’t use Nike+ as much anymore (I’ve been using the Garmin app for almost 2 years), my runs still sync to Nike+ so I was super pumped to cross over 5000 last week.
Here’s to another 5000 miles.