While I may not be one of the professional runners participating in The Marathon Project 2020, I am feeling so inspired following some of the elite runners as they post their training to social media! I think it's a really cool idea to gather 100 of the best to race a marathon (safely, with extreme testing protocols and no spectators) at the end of this year. It's also quite fun because anyone can still sign up to take part in the Virtual Mileage Madness Challenge, and you can even join the team of one of the pros and compete against the other teams to see who can run the most miles between November 25 and December 20. Selfishly, I'm also very thankful that this challenge overlaps with my fundraising challenge, as it's just another source of motivation for me to keep going!
Today, I wasn't sure if I was going to complete my long run or push it off until tomorrow. However, once I got to mile three I had made up my mind. I was feeling good, I had a good breakfast, and I had an energy gel with me just in case I needed it. I'm pleasantly surprised with how the run went, and I had no idea I was in that kind of shape! This last week, I've slowed my average run pace from ~6min/mile to ~7min/mile, and it has me feeling much more recovered and ready to increase my mileage. Going into the long run, I thought I'd set myself the goal of trying to average around 6 minutes per mile for the first nine miles and maybe between 5:30-5:40 minutes per mile for the second half of the run. Then, mile eight went by in 5:48, and I still felt as if I were running around 6:00, so I just kept going. When miles eleven and twelve went by in 5:26 and 5:23, I felt so smooth that I figured I would just try to hold that or maybe even try to find 5:20 pace. For the last four miles I averaged 5:15min/mile and, honestly, that pace has never felt so good. I didn't feel labored or overexerted. Rather, I felt that, with the proper refueling, I could have maintained that pace for another few miles. I'm still shocked that my body handled that run so well. I guess the lesson here is run slow to run fast? I suppose this is also the result of not really ever doing workouts as part of my training. Currently, I'm focused on just adding up the miles and, for the most part, avoiding tempo runs or intervals until January or February.
Every Sunday, I'll reflect a little on how the week has gone… and this has been a great first week! 6 days completed and 79 miles run! I'm also just so incredibly grateful for all of the support that I've received so far. Every time that another person pledges to donate just a couple of cents to this challenge makes my day! It's amazing what such a small act can do to completely turns someone's day around - I'm currently at the end of a long semester, so when I'm not out running or posting about it to social media, I'm literally spending all other hours of the day reading and writing. It can be extremely overwhelming, yet if I get a little alert that another person has pledged, it puts a huge smile on my face and I feel reenergized to keep doing my best at whatever I may be working on! I try to keep this in mind every time that I am on social media (something I probably do a little too often since the start of the pandemic); people are feeling isolated and sometimes lonely, and as trivial as it may sound, sometimes liking someone's post or writing a comment really does just light up a person's day! We may all be feeling Cooped Up, but at least we can still reach out to one another to check in and remind each other that we are not alone.
Y'all absolutely smashed the goal I had set yesterday of $3.00 pledged per mile run! Currently, y'all have pledged $3.92 per mile run, and I have run a cumulative 79 miles so far this December. That makes the projected total raised $309.68! That's incredible! Let's keep this going! Like I said, only a penny, nickel, or a dime per mile run from each person starts to add up quickly! If you haven't yet pledged, but would like to, you can do so HERE.
Stay Cooped Up, my friends!