38 days postpartum (just 4 days shy of the 6 weeks, or 42 days, I was supposed to wait to start running after the C-section), and I just NEEDED a run. No going into details here, but mentally and emotionally, I needed to know I could still run and needed to just clear my mind and focus on nothing but the pavement and me for just a little bit of time.
Before the baby was born, while running pregnant, I had spent a lot of time thinking about my 2011 running. Planning, strategizing, dreaming. I decided I wanted to try to reset my pace, that I had a mental block keeping me from getting faster. For paces... My PR 1 mile is 9:04 min/mi, my PR 5K is 10:20 min/mi, my half marathon PR is 11:09 min/mi. Since most of my training runs from right before I got pregnant was 10:00-11:30 min/mi, I was ready to make a radical change.
So on tonight's run, after the first 0.05 mi trial to see how my feet felt running, I set my goal. A tenth of a mile at a time at faster than 9 min/mi pace, with however much walking recovery I wanted inbetween.
I did 2.1 miles, with 0.60 miles of it being sub-9 min mile pace!
The paces for each tenth mile were: 8:22, 8:15, 8:23, 8:02, 8:05, 8:19.
So how do I feel? I feel pretty okay, I tend to evaluate four things in deciding this:
LUNGS: fine during, no gasping for air, but a little hacking once I got into the warm air at home again.
HEART: felt good, never beated out of my chest, wore my heart monitor and nothing looked awry.
LEGS: awkward, need to keep an eye on posture and maintaining midfoot strike and not overly tensing upper body, it will get easier as I get used to it.
BRAIN: felt good, each tenth of a mile felt so fast compared to my usual pace.
Next steps? Rest, stretch, make sure I recover well. Then do it again, and focus on extending that tenth of a mile into 0.15 miles then two-tenths and so on. Let's give this a go and see where it can take me. Wouldn't it be fun if I could come back and bring with it a sub-9 min pace 5K PR in a couple months?!?
Happy Running to All!