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How my running has changed over a year

I had mentioned in my Geist Half Marathon recap post that my it had been one year since my first half marathon last year.

I can’t believe how much has changed in my running since then.

To further prove that point, I have created a list of how my running has really changed over the past year.

1. I’m faster. I thought that I could never run a mile that didn’t start with a nine. I was scared of burning out in half marathons and running “too fast”. Long runs were meant to be ran closer to 10 minute miles. I still can’t believe I was so stuck at this pace, just because I thought “I’ve never been that fast, so I’m not that fast”. The past fall, I started having more and more runs where my average pace was always 8:57 or 8:53. That’s when I first realized, that I had been so stuck in my “safe” pace of 9:30 miles. I also know that I have gotten faster because of my consistent training and my body getting used to running. It’s cool to see my hard work pay off.

2. I’m running further than I ever have. A casual after class or work run was always around 3 miles, maybe less. Once I realized I was capable of going further, my after class or work run started becoming 5 miles. I was easily able to handle a 8-10 mile casual run on the weekend. That amount of mileage was no longer daunting or scary to me.

3. It is so much easier.

4. It is so much more enjoyable.

5. I ran throughout the whole winter. Yes I ran throughout the winter, but no I was not running as much as I am now during the warmer months. I don’t have access to a treadmill and when there is 3+ inches of snow on the ground (with ice!!), it’s just not happening.  Here are my numbers: January- 47, February- 25 (so much ice & snow!), miles per month. In winters past, I don’t think I’ve actually ran from the months of December, January, and February! So yes, these were low mileage months for me (I average 85-100 per month). However, I still can’t believe I got out the door, ran, enjoyed it, never injured myself falling (haha), and got some miles in.

6. I never thought I would prefer winter running to summer running. The 5 times that I’ve had to run in 70 degree weather has basically made me wish for fall/winter running weather. I don’t know how I’m going to get through June, July, and August, because running in the heat is freaking hard. I never thought my ideal running temperature would be in the 45-50 degree range, just wow.

It always amazes me just how far I have come with my running. Running is by far one of the biggest “things” in my life, and I can’t imagine what my sanity would be without it.

I ❤ running.

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