It's so exciting!
But more exciting than just seeing better numbers on my Garmin is knowing that I can actually push myself in sessions now. Without fear of my legs buckling. Without fear that I'll have to cut the session short. Without fear that I'll need to spend the rest of the day in bed.
That's the most wonderful feeling of all.
I noticed the return of speed for the first time last week. Coach Chris had us running a ladder going up in 500m increments. When I got to the 1k rep I felt like I was running within myself, knowing there was a 1500m and a 2k still to come.So you could have knocked me over with a feather when my lap time showed that I'd run a 4:36 AND then been able to clock respectable paces over the longer distances.
Then again this week doing 1 mile reps I was astounded to see that last week's achievement wasn't a fluke - 7:31. Yay me!
I know there are plenty of people out there who can run way faster than this but I'm just running against myself and pushing the boundaries of what I've been given, so these times make me happy. Especially remembering that at this time last year an amazing run was one where I could run the whole way. Speed was out of the question and once I was able to go back to speed I had to cut the session short and walk all the recoveries.
Last year a 12k run had me pushed to the limit. I've just finished a month where each of my long runs was over 18k and my weekly totals were 50k or over.
I am just so very grateful. That I found out what ailed me. That it could be treated. That I've responded to the treatment so well. That I had good friends to lean on through my time in the running wilderness. That I can run again.
So many times in the last couple of years I doubted that I'd ever get back to this point. And that's why it makes so happy. And it makes me confident enough to contemplate actually having a race schedule (please note that none of these races have actually been entered into yet because I am a master at procrastinating)
May - Mother's Day Classic 4k (start off small)
June - Doomben 5k
July - Gold Coast 10k (my ninth in a row) and possibly the half marathon on the following day.
September - Sydney Half Marathon
October - Melbourne Marathon
Not too many but enough, I think, to consider it a comeback.
I couldn't finish this post without sharing the latest pics of Toby.
He's become a velcro dog and hates to be away from me. He's even taken to sleeping under my work table. It can be a bit of a pain because he wedges his foot underneath the sewing machine pedal and I wonder why I the machine won't go.
Then other times he lends a helping paw to save my legs a bit of work. Not so great when he presses down at the wrong moment and the fabric gets away from you.
But all is forgiven when work's over and we have our nightly cuddle ritual on the couch in front of the Biggest Loser. I sit there and mock the contestants who give up after a minute or two of breathlessness and he gives me the 'seriously, where's your compassion' look. Or maybe I'm reading too much into it and he's just wondering why I'm not stroking him any more.
For all of you non-pet owners out there, this is totally normal behaviour. There is absolutely nothing obsessive or eccentric about it.