I had a fabulous run last night - honestly fantastic. I felt great and the number that came out were so strange to me. I had planned a stroller run and got all of 2 miles in (with multiple breaks) because Miles just wasn't having any of it. I figured I'd end up on the treadmill to finish out the 5 I had had planned, but my husband got home early so I got to go for my first solo run in a week and a half (treadmills I still am watching the kids, strollers are obviously different from just going running).
I'm not sure what it was, endorphins or needing to run the stress off or just the perfect storm of everything I needed, but I ran 5K and it was crazy. My mile splits were 10:11/9:21/8:54/:50.
I ran a sub-9 mile. And it wasn't a one off - it was my third mile, my last mile. My total time for last night's 5K was 29:19, which is almost 30 seconds faster than the PR I -just- set like 3 weeks ago.
Seriously, who am I? In February I struggled through a 10K at an 11:53 pace. I was not back to a point where I could run a couple miles without a walk break. I was working on breaking a 35-minute 5K.
By March I had a break through and was almost back to my PR pace for 5Ks, in a trail race no less. In training on the road I ran a 31:39 5K training run.
By April I would smash my half marathon PR by over 20 minutes and run a sub-30 5K.
I used to think I'd top out at around a 10 minute mile pace, maybe occasionally reaching into the 9s if I really gave it my everything in a race. Breaking a 30 minute 5K was my ultimate running goal.
At this point I can pretty consistently run in the upper 9s for shorter runs consistently, if I'm running slightly above comfortable. Comfortable is usually mid-10s, long slow pace high 10s/low 11s. Low 9s is pushing it just past conversational...although the high 8 I ran last night felt /good/. I was pushing, but it sure didn't feel like race pace. But it's my fastest mile in my entire life.
On one hand - it's GREAT. I feel fantastic. Totally fantastic. (I also watch too much Dr. Who, but that's fantastic too, right? /geek) I feel healthy and strong.
On the other hand, I feel like I'm zipping through this. Not that I'm fast - just much faster than I used to be and I can't figure out what curve I'm following. At 7 months postpartum I'm running way faster than I ever could before baby, I am running longer, and I am feeling better while running - no more death marching, ever, and for the most part, no more walk intervals either. It's almost weird to me how fast I'm progressing....like every month or so I'm taking a leap. I -have- lost a lot of weight since I started running, which I realize accounts for some of it, but I feel like this is more than just weight loss.
Not that I'm an expert or anything, but if this is common I haven't seen anyone blog about it. Part of me wonders if it's a mental thing and I'm just discovering some mental toughness I never knew I had?
I have no idea, but it's both unsettling and exciting.