A good friend of mine has been great about getting me on my bike, and I am trying to embrace it. For some reason, when I get on a bike, I am very aware of my breathing... sort of like running uphill, but times ten. I guess I will get used to it. It has been nice having someone to ride with; just the nudge I've needed.
Yesterday we rode 10 miles, then ran 3. In my mind, since this was a workout of over an hour, it would be at an easy pace. The bike was fine-- I am super-wimpy when it comes to downhills. I don't quite feel secure on those skinny wheels yet!
Now, here is where it got interesting: we started the run, and my friend started at a pretty brisk pace. I had my Garmin on, and looked down, and we were running in the low 8's. I told her this, and said it was a bit fast, and she replied "I want to run as hard as I can as long as I can". Keep in mind this woman has run a half- marathon and completed an Olympic distance Tri, so she knows about pacing. I took her up on it, and ended up running 8:13 pace for the 3M we were running.
What is interesting to me about this is that since my sh*tband has entered the picture in the past 3 years, I am afraid to run fast and to push myself. I have been held hostage by the mindset that today's run has to fit into a bigger picture of my week, how it might affect my knees/hips and what paces I might run on other days. I realized I have been selling myself short by not pushing myself in my runs.
Now of course this is all within the framework of time periods when I am not following a set training plan, AND running low weekly mileage. Obviously if I was training for a marathon and running 40-50 mpw I can't go out and run 3M one day and then 5M the next day at MP. But- that is exactly what I did yesterday and today. Today I ran by FEEL, and ran 8:47 pace for 6M. Yes, I was pushing myself, but nothing hurt. It helps immensely that the trail I was on has slight incline on the way up, and thus nice little downhill on the way back.
I have gotten so used to looking at my Garmin, and when running too 'fast' backing off. I am going to run at least 1 run a week without my Garmin- maybe a watch, maybe nothing. I'm not saying all my runs are going to be sub 9-minute paces, nor should they. But I am going to try and get over the fear of pushing it on my GA runs.
So THANKS to my friend for opening my eyes to the possibility of really pushing myself without a set time goal or mileage goal. We'll see if I can embrace it....