This is what I said with wavering confidence to my bestie Rebecca as we planned our run route for the next day on my first day of my visit to Fairhope, Alabama over the weekend. Both of us had harder runs planned: her a marathon-specific tempo run (aka 'threshold run' for Bill D!), because she's a distance-monster, and me doing a "5k via correspondence" for the Bill Crews Remission Run being held in Conroe, TX.
The Remission Run is put on by some dear friends and it was tough to miss, but I committed to do a 5k effort in Bill's honor in the serenity of Coastal Alabama's rolling hills and historic homes. That and with one of my best friends. Ideal setting for testing out the gears for the first time since July. Yes, July.
Originally, I didn't plan on monitoring pace or keeping any kind of time at all-admittedly out of fear/avoidance and distrust of my body and fitness post-injury. I've gained a fair amount of muscle mass since starting triathlons, my once pipelike upper body broadened out by hours in the pool and in the aero position. Could I carry myself in the same way feeling like a gargantuan compared to my former frame?
Yes, readers-I had some considerable negative self-talk going on. My base run training has been going awesome, yet I held on to some suppressed apprehension of running faster paces. That being said, one of the best ways to squash these ideas is to challenge them. Time to turn the GPS back on on my Garmin. So here goes my own (very) little moment of truth in my running life-what's Adrienne got in the tank? Just a little test for an much bigger cause down Interstate 10 in Conroe.
Despite all the apprehension, the idea that I could be stronger was present in the back of my mind too. I guess there's only one way to find out...
Becca and I agreed to start conservative and slowly take the pace down progression-style, an idea I more-than-agreed-with. I had set a reasonable workout goal in my head to just dip below 7:00 for a sustained amount of time to regain some confidence back that I haven't become just a one-speed wonder with a rubber monitor strapped across her torso and wrist.
"You tell others to get out of their comfort zones all the time, Langelier, time to back it up!"
First mile we took off and got on pace. I'm not too big on posting numbers anymore, but it was a solidly sub-7:00 minute mile, feeling really strong. Almost werided out. I kept thinking "OMG...just like I left it"..."I've still got it"..."why was I even worried"...I even recall looking down at my Garmin and smiling for a brief moment. It's the little things, folks! Mile 2, the pace gradually came down and Becca and I were running side-by-side. With a little encouragement from both sides, it was soon time for my turnaround as she went on.
Mile 3 I was able to negative split with unexpected ease. I was running along Mobile Bay and enjoying the gradual burn in my legs. Instead of dreading this feeling, It was like my legs were waking up. Enjoying being able to feel that burn, feeling like myself-but perhaps a little more experienced and feeling stronger than I've felt in a long time-physically and mentally. What was really cool was how I remembered almost immediately to run within myself. This was just a small little workout-but an important one for my re-development into my next stages as an athlete and competitor. I'm also glad my friend was there to go with me.
On any other day, this could have just been chocked up to a day's work. At this stage, it was a needed mental boost and one of those small truth moments that help us along as we work to improve as runners. I know there will be many a tempo that I'll have to grit my teeth through in the future. But I encourage everyone to find their little confidence booster in their own little moments of truth. Sometimes the most ordinary things are the most needed. For whatever reason, that day I needed that run.
Thank you, Bill Crews and family and everyone in Fairhope who made me feel so welcome in your state over the weekend.
Be mindful of those little moments of truth. Pay attention and embrace them.
Stay the course.
|The "start line"in Fairhope, AL: One of my favorite places to run.|