Maybe it's the post long run high, but I am so thankful for everything right now. I'm thankful that despite having my third cold of the season, I've had a solid week of training. I even got to run outside yesterday, with Sean! I'm thankful that my husband understands my devotion to running and that he's a runner too. He's gearing up for his first 100-miler this spring. And I thought I was crazy.
I'm thankful I was able to hit all my training paces and run all my miles (28 of them) this week. My speed workout this week was 5x800s, which I did between 7.6 and 7.9 on the flat treadmill. I did a 3-mile tempo run (with 1-mile warmup and cool down) at 7.0, and today I did an 8-miler, around 10:00 pace.
I'm not sure if it's the strength and core work, the 0% incline, or both (or something else) but I think I've conquered the treadmill. I'm able to run day after day without pain. It turns out there are some nice things about treadmills. You can run with people who are slower or faster than you, and you still get to be right next to them the whole time. You don't have to wear tons of clothes or try to avoid slippery patches or run in the road with the Massholes (the terrible Massachusetts drivers). And it's nice to run inside when you're a little bit sick. I never thought I'd say this, but I'm thankful for the damn treadmill.
I'm super thankful for my running partner! I started running with L last year, just once a week or so with a small group of people at work. Now we're training for the same half in April, and we might run a fall marathon together (or at least train together). She has started meeting me in the gym at 6:30am for workouts! Bonus points for her because she lives an hour away. (I only live about 5 minutes from my office, which is where the gym is.) Since we are doing speed and tempo work, we don't talk much when we're running, but it's great to know she's there. She's speedy and will definitely kick my ass at the race, which is fine by me. I'm just glad she likes running with me.
I've been thinking a lot about nutrition lately. Ever since Disney, I've been trying to figure out why I hit the wall at the end of the race. I think pacing was part of it, but I've been having this nagging feeling that I was not eating enough - or maybe not eating the right things. For the past month or so, I've been doing a much better job with my fruit and vegetables (green smoothies every day!), and certain things (bathroom things!) are a lot better. But I still have to fine-tune this diet stuff. I just bought a new book by Matt Fitzgerald, The New Rules of Marathon and Half-Marathon Nutrition. I've just started reading and it looks promising. When you put this much effort into training, you don't want something like gear or nutrition to bring you down on race day. If I suck, at least I want to know it was actually my fault!
I am thankful that I can stand on one foot to put on socks and shoes. This might not sound like much, but because of some old MS-related balance issues, standing on one foot is a big accomplishment and makes me feel like a rock star. As much as I dislike all those strength and core exercises, they are doing so much for me. My balance is better, nothing is sore, and I feel like a superhero just walking around the house.
And of course, you knew this was coming, I am so thankful for running. I feel good, I'm in good shape, I'm not depressed, and I haven't had any MS symptoms in months. That's cause for celebration. Pizza!