The Connection Runners + [workout]

My New Easy

Before I get into today's biznass, I want to say thanks to everyone who left me a nice comment on Tuesday's "I suck at life right now" post. As each one popped up in my inbox, I felt a tiny surge of betterness (yes, betterness), and I realized that, when I penned that post, my tendency to want to own everything at every minute had socked me right in the gut.

So I'm meandering ahead, even in spite of logging, yet again, zero workouts so far this week. It's only my second week back to regular life and thus I must let things roll as they should knowing that, at some point, life will return to normal, or perhaps some warped version thereof.

Right now, "normal" includes parodying popular songs and turning them into baby-friendly tunes (e.g., Black Eyed Peas - "I Got a Feeling" (That Tonight's Gonna Be a Bath Night)", Hall & Oates - "Handeater", and Usher - "OMB (Oh My Bug)".

And, speaking of normal, it seems that I'm almost back to it, at least when it comes to what my Garmin is showing on the days when I actually get out for a run.

But before I get in to the details, we should take a short trip down Paceville's Memory Lane:

  • Before getting all baby-fied last spring, my easy pace was lingering in the low to mid 9's. On a really good day, easy may have even been near 9:00 flat.
  • When I found out I was pregnant, I pulled back on the reins a bit (as if there was much to pull back on), and dropped into the upper 9's. When I ran the Kalamazoo Marathon at 4ish weeks pregnant, my average pace was a 10:07, almost a full minute per mile slower than what I'd originally planned on running.

  • As the weeks passed, and my belly and my ass grew exponentially, my runs took longer. Even short runs were punctuated with walk breaks, and I found it hard to maintain anything below a 10:00.
  • By Thanksgiving, at 34 weeks, I was barely moving, much less running. Kevin and I ran the Detroit Turkey Trot 5k, and by ran I mean I waddled and silently cursed some guy sitting on the sidelines who told me to "keep moving" as if I possibly move any faster.
  • On that final, fateful, running-while-pregnant run, I paced somewhere in the upper 11's and swore off running for good. Or at least until I went bat-shit crazy from being stuck in the house at 6 weeks post-partum and took off for a treadmill 2-miler one evening.
So where am I now, three months to the day and a few days (I started this post Thursday and finished it this morning) after popping out a baby?

Well, my friends, I'm back to where I started: in the good old low 9's. It's a nice place to be. I missed it terribly.

Sure, a few 9:45-10:00 average pace runs have weaseled their way into my limited hoard of training miles, but for the most part, I'm able to hammer out a 9:15, or even 9:08, and feel pretty dang good.

What's more is that I feel like I can push myself harder this year. With a solid four years of running and racing seriously (and by seriously I mean running kind of hard so I can drink more beer and eat more pizza after), not to mention a few quasi-years of "running" in college, I'm actually kind of looking forward to challenges like mile repeats and tempo runs.

No, this is not me being all "look how fast I can goez". It's more of a "I know I'll never win a real race or qualify for Boston, but I'm getting excited about the potential to better myself as a runner, and by better myself I mean running just a tiny bit faster than I do right now without wanting to die".

The only thing left to do: Let the new normal take over so that I can continue working on my new easy. Well, that and actually getting outside for a run.

someecards.com - Wearing your running shoes everywhere this spring may increase your odds of actually running

Maybe I'll take this guy's advice. He looks fast in his business suit.

What's been getting easier for you these days?