This post shall also be known as “The First Time I Acquired Negative Splits. And It Wasn’t On Purpose.”
I woke up on Sunday morning to cloudy North Carolina skies, clearly just one more reason for me not to participate in this weekend’s long run. I contemplated my quest over coffee with Dad.
“When are you headed out for your run?”
I knew I had to get it done. But I really didn’t want to. I had fun the night before at Kristin’s where she threw a fabulous potluck with all of our girlfriends from college (thanks for hosting!). I also knew that what I ate was not conducive to a long distance run. This did not stop me from happily eating taco dip, bean dip, chicken enchiladas, and spinach/artichoke dip (it appears us ladies like the dipping thing). Don’t worry, I managed to throw in a strawberry… that was heavily dipped (see?) in some kind of yogurt concoction (thanks, Beth). And I made a salad to bring, so I had some form of nutrients that evening.
So. All things considered, I knew this run was not going to go well. But I had a plan. Seven laps of death around a
lake pond that sat adjacent to my parents’ neighborhood. Running there and back would give me the full 15.
I left the house a bit faster than expected, so I slowed it down by the time I reached Lake Pine. And there I started my first loop.
“This isn’t so bad. Just think of it as if you’re running around Central Park… Just ⅓ the size… Well that sucks, let’s not think of that.”
Things started to slosh around in my belly. It probably wasn’t a great idea to have that extra glass of wine with Mom when I got home. Oh, well.
Another loop. I realized by my fourth mile that I had stayed pretty consistent in my speed.
“That’s good,” I thought. Just keep it up. I knew I had to cut it short due to my lunch plans with the wonderful Daniel and Lauren complete with baby Camden. If I kept a consistent pace for at least 10 miles I would be happy overall.
I made it to my third loop. Things started to feel better internally, and I felt I could keep going longer as planned versus the alternative of stopping after six miles. An older gentleman yelled at me as I was nearing the end of my third loop.
“How many loops have you done?!”
“Three, so far… Redundant, I know!”
He yelled something to me afterward although I had no idea what it was. I was on a deadline. A deadline consisting of repetitive loops. Loops around a small pond next to MacGregor. And it wasn’t pleasant. It was 10:00 AM and groups of women walkers were now out in full force taking up the entire length of the sidewalk. (I’ll give them credit, they heard my feet and quickly moved.) I stopped just after mile 7 to eat my Gu, then charged to finish the remainder of loop three.
Onto loop 4. The sun was coming out and it was turning into a lovely Sunday, not like what the weather had predicted (or at least what Dave Lew told me this morning) of showers.
Then I heard a beep from my Garmin.
Lap 8: 8:25.
Really? (I said this out loud, in fact.) Did I just lose 20 full seconds off of my consistent pace? Well that’s cool. I became curious of what my next lap would be.
Lap 9: 8:35.
Ok, so I eased off a bit. Not so bad. I felt good though, and I had one more lap to do before heading back to prepare for luncheon. I decided to make this final loop count and see what would happen. I was prepared to put myself in the pain box and charge up any hills that came my way.
Lap 10: 8:17.
Shut the front door. And I felt good to boot? What was in that bean dip? Was it propelling me through these miles? I’m no scientist, but I think it’s possible. I was excited to see what mile 11 would be before throwing in the towel.
And there it was: 8:09. For the first time ever I achieved negative splits in a long distance run. I was elated with glee as I stampeded through the front door. “DAD! MOM! NEGATIVE SPLITS!” After I explained what that meant, they too were happy.
So. There we have it. It’s not the full 15 that I set out to do, but I’ll take it. Especially now that I had trouble sleeping due to aches and pains and trashed legs.
Many thanks to Kristin for hosting a lovely potluck, as well as Lauren and Daniel for a post-run lunch.
And special shout-out to Laci who made a bean dip that must have been laden with magical powers, thus making me faster.