And sometimes, you really don't expect it when you start.
I slept horribly last night. Awake at 1, 2, 3...you get the idea. When the alarm went off at 6:30, I was sure it had just been 3:00 five minutes before. Hit snooze a couple times and then begrudgingly got out of bed. I moped around while I drank coffee and ate some breakfast, and then headed out.
Of course it's been in the 60s and sunny all week and when I walked out this morning it was cold. I was wearing capri tights, a short sleeved shirt, and a jacket (because I did know it might rain) but decided to run back in and add a long sleeved shirt and mittens. Good thinking...should have added long tights, too. Pulled out of the driveway and noticed little droplets on the windshield. Fabulous. Pulled into the parking lot at the running store and noticed....
Did you know today is the first day of spring? Yeah.
So I went in the store, moping moping moping, and stood around until they sent us off. Starting out I was right behind a group of women who were going slower than I had intended and I thought about passing them. Then, Smart Emily appeared and I remembered that I've really been doing my longs runs too fast, so I asked that group if I could join in. They were aiming for an 11 min pace which was slower than what I thought we were doing, but I decided to hang with them and just enjoy being comfortable. They were heading out for 13 and I was planning 8, so I knew I'd still have a lot of time to myself.
The four mile mark was drawing near and I felt really good, so I decided to do 10. Good thing Smart Emily came out today, because Notsosmart Emily had been considering just staying with that group to do 13. The 5 mile mark came in 53:04 - a 10:37 pace, so I was right that we were going a little faster. Smart Emily bid the ladies farewell and turned around.
I knew I had a lot left in the tank and figured it was fine to pick it up for the second half. The first 3 - 3.5 I ran alone, but kept a pretty even gap with the woman in front of me so I figured we were going about the same place. By the time we hit the aid station with somewhere between 1.5 and 2 miles left to go, I was physically fine but mentally struggling a bit. I asked if I could run along with her, and we set off for the shop. We chatted, but the whole time we were running along I kept thinking she was going faster than I thought, really pushing me, and I might have to slow back down. Later I found out she was thinking the same thing! Funny how two people can push each other like that without even realizing it. We were pumped by the time we made it back to the shop - what a way to end a run! Total time for the second half was 44:47 - an 8:57 pace! What's best about it is how great I felt.
R, the woman I ran those last couple miles with, kept commenting what a great day it was to run and how she hadn't expected that at all. I have to agree! I was so grumpy this morning and then the snow just took the cake. Through that whole run, I watched the ground get whiter and whiter as my lower legs got colder and colder. Even so, I ran so strong today.