Thursday, February 14, 2019

RACE REVIEW:DONNA 13.1




🎶Running on concrete
Electricity
I finally can breathe
I think I'm ready...🎶
'Grow', Conan Grey


Last Friday I flew down to Florida both to visit my parents and to run the Donna Half Marathon, a race I've been wanting to for a while now.  My mom was diagonosed with Stage 1 Breast Cancer when she was 60.  She's been cancer free for 12 years.  The Donna Marathon, officially titled the National Marathon to Finish Breast Cancer, was created by Donna Deegan, a former journalist and three-time breast cancer survivor.  Funds from the event are dedicated to breast cancer research and care for those in need.  For a few years now, I've waffled back and forth on running the half versus the full; trying to make one of them work with my training plan and this year I finally just bit the bullet, signed up for the half, and planned the trip.  A little over a week before the race we had a polar vortex up here in MA.  I stupidly decided to run outside when the "feels like" was sub-zero.  The next day I woke up with a nasty cold.  Somehow, even at age 44, I still haven't learned some of life's most basic lessons.  Like don't run when they're issuing frost bite warnings and canceling school because of the temperature.  I took a couple days off and eased back into training but the miles were not the quality that I needed or wanted them to be and by the time I was packing up to leave I knew I wouldn't be 100% for race day.  Always a bummer.  I reached out to my coach to get a sense of what he thought I could pull off.  He never sugar coats anything, which is good, and told me that between the Florida heat, where I am in my training cycle and coming off being sick, a PR was not likely.  I agreed with him while also secretly hoping we were both wrong.


It was a quick and easy trip down and when I landed around 6:30 it was a balmy 68 degrees.  Heaven, as far as I was concerned.  My parents scooped me up, we had a mellow dinner and then I called it early because I was wiped.  I know, shocker.  The next morning my dad and I made our way over to the expo to grab my bib and shirt.  Their place is about twenty minutes from where everything was happening which was super convenient.  Since they live so far away from me, my parents have never made it to one of my races so it was fun to have them around for everything leading up to it.


My dad told the woman who gave me my number that it was for him and then laughed and said, 50 years ago, maybe.  She got a kick out of that. He did, too.  As you can see here, I forgot both my contact lenses and my hairbrush for this trip.  I brought three pairs of running shoes and bag full of snacks, both of which are clearly more important than seeing what's in front of me or my appearance. After the expo we met up with my mom for lunch and then I put my feet up and relaxed for the rest of the day, which was wonderful as it rarely happens at home.


My mom cooked up a killer dinner and then I headed up to get myself organized.  The race start was at 7:30am and I wanted to be there with enough time to warm up so I set my alarm for 5:45 which would give me a few extra minutes to grab coffee on the way.  My dad, bless him, was ready and willing to be my driver/wingman, even at that god-awful hour.  He was worried I wouldn't be able to park and wanted to take that stress off my plate.  I know, I'm lucky.  He dropped me off and I sat and finished my coffee and just chilled for a bit before I took off for a couple much needed wakeup miles.  It was humid and 60 which felt awesome but I knew it was going to be a challenge to race in given the weather I've been training in back home, particularly the humidity.  Whatever.  I checked my bag and walked over to the line to find a good spot for some last minute stretching.  It's noticaebly different to go to a race alone versus with a friend or teammate.  Particularly one that's far away from home.  Everyone is always friendly; that's a given.  But when you're solo, you're not as distracted, which isn't necessarily a good thing.  Oddly, I was in a really good head space pre-race, which is atypical for me.  I wasn't as nervous as I usually am.  Was it because this was my first race of the year and just a stepping stone on my path toward reaching my bigger goals?  Maybe.  Was it because I wasn't feeling 100% and didn't feel the pressure that I normally do when I am totally on my game?  Who knows.  So much of this particular race is about running for others, for those who have survived breast cancer, who are battling it, who have lost loved ones to it, for anyone who is touched by it in any way, really.  It feels very different than most of the races I've done because the cause is the key focus, not who might place or win.  It's a very positive environment to be in and the vibe was amazing.  Perhaps that was the reason I felt so at ease.  I was just happy to be there and be a part of it and to know that I was running for others, especially my Mom and Mother-in-law, who are both survivors.  A photographer captured this moment as I stood at the line.  It kind of sums up everything I am trying to say.  You'll rarely see me happy and smiling like this before a goal race.  I was really feeling the love.


THE RACE:
As I mentioned, my expectations for this one were pretty low.  Again, there is always a little voice whispering, you never know, but really, I knew.  I didn't really have a goal, just to run hard and see what I had in the tank.  My marathon pace is 6:50, so I was hoping to run somewhere in the 6:30-6:50 range for this, depending on how I felt.  My first mile was a 6:45.  Right on target.  My legs felt great and I was itching to pick it up but forced myself to pump the breaks because I could feel the warmth right off the bat and knew that it would likely be a factor working against me later.  For the next few miles I kind of linked up with a group and zoned out.  I took fluids at every stop to be safe.  I settled into a good groove and coasted for a while.  Then I had a little panic moment because I looked down and noticed that my average pace was 6:51 and this was slower than I had planned.  I thought it was odd.  I'm pretty good at feeling my pace and I definitely felt like I was moving at a faster clip.  I checked my mileage at the next marker and realized that my distance was off which explained the slower splits.  I raced in Jax back in November on this same course which weaves through the neighborhoods of Neptune Beach and I remember having the same issue with my GPS for that one.  I now realized I was just going to have to stop focusing on my watch, which was no longer accurate, and run by feel.  Totally fine except that sometimes if I throw some faster miles in too soon I crash and burn mid-race, so I was going to have to really keep a pulse on how I was feeling.


I ran with this guy in the above photo for quite a few miles, using him as a pacer and hoping he was in the window I was aiming for.  Either way, he was a real steady Eddy, which was what I needed at the moment.  I owe him a thank you.  Side note - I did end up chatting with him post-race and he told me his distance was off as well and that the guy next to him had us running steadily between 6:35-50.  That was good to hear.  By mile 9, I was getting really tired and, as predicted, was really feeling the heat.  I was drinking water and then pouring it down my back.  I mean, it really wasn't that hot, but it felt like the tropics to me after the sub zero temps that I'd been dealing with the week before.  At mile 10, a young gal passed me as she said, way to go, girl.  That made me smile and helped me turn it up a bit to get to the finish.  Though, based on the below pic, I was a bit more dazed than I realized as I hauled it across the line.


I rolled across in 1:28 and change.  Not my best.  Not my worst.  And just about exactly where I should be given my sporadic winter training and the fact that I was coming off a cold.  I won't lie and tell you I didn't feel a tinge of disappointment as I'd hoped my general fitness was further along. Thankfully, my coach knew exactly what I needed to hear when I asked him about it.

Anything under marathon pace is a good workout if nothing else.  We can absolutely build from this. Don't be concerned that it wasn't faster.  We will get there.

That worked for me.  I shook it off, chalked it up to a good effort, met up with my dad and refocused on where we were going for brunch, something he was as excited about as I was.  For the record, the guy below in the pink wig stood, or I should say danced around, at the finish and high-fived every single finisher.  In the end, this was truly what this race was all about and as the dust settled and I gave it some more thought I remembered that I wanted to do this race first and foremost for my mom, who is such a fighter and that how I performed was not on the front burner when I signed up.


But then, I'm a runner.  And I like to aim high.  And I'm hard on myself.  Runner or not, a lot of us are like this.  It is what it is.  And if I've learned anything over the last few years it is that progress is rarely linear.  In running, we have to be patient and embrace all of it, the good and the bad, the strides forward and the slides backwards.  The rebuilding phase and the peak performance phase.  It's all part of the process.  We have to be okay with not seeing major changes and know that every race and run is a small step toward the bigger goal.  And we have to appreciate the journey and all that it offers us.  In this case, the opportunity to spend some quality time with my parents and to take part in an event that means so much to everyone in my family.  That is what I will remember most about this weekend.  And that is more than enough.


Listen to this:
Grow - Conan Gray

Friday, February 8, 2019

RWR:MEET MEL, PRO RUNNER FOR OISELLE

"My swagger comes from miles of missteps that screamed “No” & triumphs that engulfed them in a quiet "yes, I will".  For me swagger is the confidence to say, "Thank you for your opinion, but I'm going to do what I want."
~ Mel Lawrence


This year I'm going make a bigger effort to profile more people in my RUNNERS WHO ROCK series.  For a few reasons.  First, these features are so much fun for me to put together because I get to connect with the people that I'm profiling on a more personal level.  Second, there are so many amazing runners, musicians, runners who are musicians, musicians who are runners and people who just have a cool story to tell and are passionate about both running and music out there and they typically have a lot of great info to share.  And last, because I don't have as much going on in my own running world at the moment so why not learn more about those out there who are more interesting and most likely crushing it?  So, today I am thrilled to introduce you to Mel Lawrence.  She's not quite a household name, or at least, not yet.  Though, I'm guessing if you follow the pro running world at all you've probably heard of her, particularly if you are a steeple fan.  I've had the pleasure of knowing Mel since 2014 when I met her at my first Oiselle Birdcamp out in Bend, OR.  Yes, Mel and I are on the same team.  She's a hell of a lot faster and way more accomplished but you wouldn't know it in hanging with her.  She's warm, humble and hilarious.  We ran some trails together when we were in Bend and as I attempted to keep up with her, she and her sister Collier, told me this crazy story about wild animals living in their walls when they were younger, cracking each other up the entire 10 miles and significantly easing the pain of the run for me.  We spent a lot of time together that weekend, I don't know, I guess I was drawn to her positive energy and we've stayed connected ever since.  Lucky me.  Mel runs for Project Little Wing, a pro group in Bend coached by Lauren Fleshman.  She is currently in the middle of her indoor season where she focuses on mid distance racing.  I asked her to give me a quick high level snapshot of who she is and her career highs; to brag about herself basically, and this is what she gave me:

~ I have a twin brother (lives in SF after being in Portland for 11 years) and an older sister (who also runs for Oiselle and lives in Bend :-))
~ UW husky graduate; French major
~ Gearin' up for my indoor season, and I have at least 2-3 more races. It’s such a short season, but it’s so fun.
~ High School PRs: 4:48 mile, 10:20 2 mile, 2:11 800
~ College PRs: 4:21 1500, 9:08 3k, 15:50 5k, 9:40 Steeple
~ Current: 2:05 800, 4:11 1500, 4:33 mile, 8:50 3k, 15:40 5k, 9:32 steeple
~ I’ve lived in Bend for about 5 years and I love it.
~ Getting married in October this year!

Yes, she put her PRs in there, sprinkled among the other details.  But she has done so much more than just run fast.  Clearly, she's not one to boast, so I will do it for her.

Photo credit:Heather McWhirter

The photo above is from 2018 US Outdoor Championships in Des Moines, Iowa in June.  Mel placed 3rd in the 3k steeplechase behind Emma Coburn and Courtney Frerichs.  As of the close of 2018, given all of the race results for that specific year, Mel was ranked 4th in the USA in the steeple.  FOURTH.  I mean, that's just insane to me.  Last year I flew out to Seattle and got to watch her race at the Dempsey Indoor meet against the some of the best athletes in her field.  She took second to Shalane Flanagan in the 3K, coming in under 9 minutes and qualifying for US Indoor Champs.  Watching her race was magical.  She's so calm and cool despite the nerves she's battling and she's always smiling.  I was totally in awe of her the whole time.

Photo credit:Heather McWhirter

I know a lot of you reading this post have heard of Emma Coburn and/or Shalane Flanagan.  Do you see, now, why you'll likely be hearing more about Mel in the future?  I just love this gal.  She's such a cool cat and such a fierce competitor.  Ok, enough from me, let's meet Mel, a runner who really freaking rocks.

RWR:MEL LAWRENCE

Name: Mel Lawrence
Where you're from: Reno, NV
Where you reside now: Bend, OR
Age: 29
Occupation: Professional Runner & part time customer service at Picky Bars


w/ her Little Wing teammates & Coach Fleshman

ON RUNNING & MUSIC:
What do you love most about running?
I love being able to walk out the door, turn my brain off and just let my legs move me forward in any direction I want.  If I don’t turn my brain off, I also love that it’s a time to really think about things, mull things over, and you can do so without any distractions.

What do you love most about music?
That there is music for every type of mood I am in and for different times of day. The music I listen to first thing in the morning is very different from what I listen to while making dinner.


w/ her fiancee at a Red Sox game (love her even more now)

MEL'S FAVORITES:
Band (current, all time or both): This is hard!  There are too many to choose from, but I could always listen to Coldplay.
Album (current, all time or both): I rarely choose an album to listen to in entirety.  I like to have a playlist with various artist of the same style.
Race venue: Indoors: The Dempsey at UW. Outdoors: Stanford or Eugene.
Music venue: The Gorge Amphitheater in Washington
Race distance: 3k
Show you've seen live? Again, this is really hard. For the last 5 years, my sister, brother and I have gone to a music festival called Austin City Limits. It’s our sibling trip.  One of the first years we were there we saw Outkast - that is one I will remember forever.
Ice cream flavor:  Cookies and cream




THIS OR THAT:
Sweet or salty? Salty
Live or recorded? Usually live
Coffee or tea? Coffee
Summer or winter? Summer (although I always look forward to summer at the end of winter and to winter at end of summer)




MORE MUSIC INFO:
Which band or artist would you go see tonight if you could? Beyonce or Leon Bridges
Which band or artist (wait...but no longer alive or playing together) would you go see tonight if you could?  Beatles
Which band or artist would you like to have dinner with tonight if you could? Snoop Dogg
Which band or artist would you like to be playing alongside you during your next race (or long run)? Still thinking on this one.

LAST ONE:
Today, I feel like….(fill in the blank): I could use more sleep.


Top 5 Songs for running, dancing or both? 
This is a really hard question & I’m sure my answers would be different in a few months.  Have you seen Ellen DeGeneres’s new standup act, “Relatable”?  She talks about having a song where no matter what, you get on the dance floor. This is what I’m thinking of when I read this question. And everyone should watch Relatable.  
What comes to my mind first...
* 2 of America Most Wanted - Tupac (I really like old school rap)
* Run Around Sue by Dion (I also really like Oldies, which is very different from above)
* We Can’t Stop by Miley Cyrus (I don’t care what anyone says, but I love her voice)
* Crazy In Love by Beyonce
* Filthy by JT

Last 5 Songs you listened to today: I listened to Maggie Rogers new album, "Heard It In A Past Life"

Listen to this:
2 of Americaz Most Wanted - Tupac (feat. Snoop Dog)

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

DEAR YOUNGER ME

"Stop looking ahead, stop looking behind, and stop looking at everyone else.  Focus on what's happening now, take one day at a time, and one run at a time."
~ U of CO Senior, Dani Jones, in a letter to her younger self

w/ my dear friend and Colgate teammate, Merri Wade 
circa 1993

Last Thursday I was forced inside for both of my runs due to a crazy winter storm.  Well, it was actually 50 degrees outside, but there was flash flooding and gale force winds, so going out wasn't safe.  It was a bit heartbreaking that I couldn't get on the road in those warmer temps.  But, I digress.  I'm fine with one run on the belt, but heading back inside for the second one was rough.  I needed some serious help to get through it and my music wasn't cutting it.  Thankfully, I recently discovered Mario Fraioli's podcast, The Morning Shakeout, and one of his interviews was just the distraction I needed to slog through six additional mind-numbing miles on the machine.  I opted for his session with former pro-runner and all around awesome woman, Lauren Fleshman, turned it up and settled in.  He touched on her role as an athlete, a coach, a mom, owner of Picky Bars and so much more.  It's an awesome podcast and, whether you're a runner or not, I highly recommend it.  One of the things that really caught my attention was when Fraioli asked Fleshman, knowing what she knows now, what she would tell her younger self.  It's such a great question and one that we could all likely put some serious thought into, right?  As a 43 year old wife, mom, runner, and coach, I have learned so much over the years, gained so much knowledge, learned so many lessons.  I would love to go back and share some of it with the sixteen year old, wide-eyed Rebecca who was stepping on the track for the first time in the spring of her junior year in high school.  Even super driven, goal hungry college-aged Rebecca who thought she had it all figured out, (ha!) could have used a letter from older me.  It might not be the same message, but it would be just as valuable, probably more so.  As I ran and listened, I thought about the things I would have included in a letter to young Trax.  A lot of them were similar to those that Lauren mentioned.  Things like it's not the destination its the journey.  Turns out I'm still figuring this one out.  But, I do try to remind myself of it daily.  Or, don't care what people think so much.  Just be yourself.  This one is huge.  I used to get really caught up in what others thought, always aiming to please regardless of how it felt to me.  I was constantly worried about letting people down if I didn't perform my best, which happened a lot my senior year due to injury.  I often felt like a failure.  It was such a stressful state of mind and so unnecessary.  I try and remind my high school athletes as well as my own girls of this one as much as possible.  Days later, I found myself still thinking about Fraioli's question.  I keep a journal in my bag and I started keeping a running list of things I might have wanted to know way back when.  I can't change young Rebecca's outlook at this point.  But, I can share my list with others and hope that maybe it will make a small impact or even just generate some thought.  Perhaps someone reading this, whether young or old, will stop and re-think the way they are approaching things after going through it.  A lot of them are easier said than done.  But, I've got to believe that it still helps to hear them at least once if not multiple times.  Regardless, it was a great exercise for me and serves as a platform as I start this next stage in my life, both in running and beyond.

DEAR YOUNGER ME,

Colgate Track
circa 1994

~ Relax.  There is absolutely no reason to walk around carrying so much tension.  Yes, running and racing can be stressful.  School even more so.  Hell, even your outfit can be a big deal.  But, it doesn't need to be.  And it will make things so much easier and more enjoyable if you take that pressure off yourself.

~ Trust your instincts.  Powering through isn't going to get you anywhere and will set you back even further.  If it doesn't feel right, don't do it.

~ Communicate with your coach.  If you're not sure why you're doing something, ask.  If you want to now how to change something, talk about it.  If you're frustrated, speak up.  You have a voice.  Use it.

~ Embrace mistakes.  They're healthy.  We learn from them.  We grow because of them.  We become who we are as a result of them.

~ Set goals, but don't let them define you.  Being top 3 on the team is awesome.  But if you're not up there, you're not a failure.  Your roll as an athlete is just one small part of who you are.

~ Love your body.  Listen to it.  Respect it.  Give it as much as it gives you.  Then give it more.

~ Have more fun.  Because you're young.  And you can.  There's plenty of time to be serious when you're older.

~ Treat yourself.  Eat more ice cream.  And cookies.  And other delicious things.  Because they bring you pleasure.  And they're tasty.  You don't have to "earn it".  You're not "cheating" if you indulge.  Don't think about it beforehand.  Don't analyze it afterwards.  Just enjoy it for what it is.

~ Be open to change.  If something isn't working, try something different.  The tried and true way is not always the right way.

~ Let go.  Allow yourself to process things, yes.  But, then be willing to move on.  Don't dwell on what did or didn't happen.  It's a waste of time and energy.  Every day is a fresh start.


Listen to this:
Realign by Jiants

Thursday, January 17, 2019

BIG GOALS. SMALL VICTORY.

"Good thing I didn’t accomplish all of my goals yet, because then what would I do tomorrow?"
~ Alexi Pappas


As you may know, I accomplished one of my big running goals when I broke three hours in the marathon last fall.  But, by no means am I done.  Insert chuckles and eye rolls from family & friends.  Seriously, though, I would never say to my 8th grader, Yes, Rosie!  You finally got your back handspring on beam.  Man, that took forEVER.  You can sit back and relax now.  No need to keep working on anything new.  Most of us are goal-oriented by nature.  It feels good to aim for something, whether attainable or even just out of reach, because it gives us purpose and drive; something to work on that is different and often more challenging than things that are thrown at us in our day to day lives.  We need that.  At least, I do.  So, after Baystate I got on the phone with my coach and we set some new goals.  First, I'd like to bring my half marathon time down.  I've run a minimum of two marathons per year and often three or four since 2012.  After giving it a lot of thought, I've decided, for the first time in six years, to skip the spring marathon and focus solely on the half.  I can't remember the last time I ran a half that wasn't a tuneup for a marathon.  Which means most of them have been at the end of a 70 mile week, after having done a 20+ miler and a hard workout just days before and with no taper.  It's the perfect physical state to be in when using it to test your fitness during marathon prep.  But, unless you're training at a whole new level, it rarely results in a PR simply due to the fatigue from months of marathon build up.  Then, assuming I can successfully bring my half time down, I will have another go at the marathon in the fall with the goal being to lower that personal best as well.  So there it is.  Two new goals.  Big ones.  Go big or go home, right?  I'm turning 44 next month.  The clock is ticking.  I don't have a ton of time.  But I have enough if I stay healthy and play my cards right.


So, after a couple weeks off and a race "for fun" over Thanksgiving, it was time to start building again.  For my first tempo workout I decided to go on the treadmill.  I knew I didn't have the mental strength to find and hold tempo pace outside on my own.  And, to be honest, I didn't feel like fighting for it.  I wanted the machine to pace me so I could zone out and just get the work done.  It was really hard and it hurt, but it felt good to be pushing again after several weeks of easy miles.  The next week I had another one.  Exactly the same workout, just a little longer.  The day before I'd tripped on the sidewalk and taken a massive digger; cutting up my hands and knees where I'd landed.  I was fine; my ego bruised more than anything.  But, for my workout, I opted to go inside again.  I remember thinking, everything is sore and I really don't want to fall again.  But let's just call a spade a spade.  I was using any excuse I could come up with to use the treadmill.  Given how tough it had been to hold on the week before and my general lack of motivation and drive for training (yes, it was becoming a bit of problem), I knew the machine was the only way I was going to make it happen.  Once again, this one hurt.  As much, if not more than the last.  I wanted so badly to stop in the middle of it.  I didn't.  But, I wanted to.  It wasn't pretty, but I got it done.

Post-workout. Toast. And slightly defeated.

The following week I was on the track for some 400s.  These are hard, too, but I never do them inside because they're just too short and quick to manage on the belt and because, mentally, I can usually grit through the intervals, even when I'm by myself.  Back to the tempo run the Monday before Christmas.  It was cold and snowy out and the streets were icy so off to the gym I went.  I was not sad.  In fact, I was almost starting to look forward to hopping on the machine for these tempo workouts and just grinding them out without having to think about it.  Almost.  This one, my 3rd since I'd started back up with the workouts, went surprisingly well.  I was able to hit goal pace and even to push myself to the faster end of my time range for most of the miles.  I was pumped.  My coach texted me later in the day to ask how it went.  I let him know the details and he, too, was psyched that it had gone well.  But, he also reminded me that I can't stay inside for all my hard workouts.  Sigh.  I know, I said.  Just let me get through December and then I'll buck up.  Which brings me to last Thursday, January 9th.  This was my first tempo effort of the year and my longest in quite some time.  Yes, it was cold out and a little windy, but I knew I needed to brave the elements.  I also knew that I'd been using the treadmill as a crutch for the past few weeks because I'd lost all confidence in my ability to hold pace & stay focused.  No more excuses, I told myself.  It was time to hit the road.  Pun intended.  I warmed up with 2 easy miles and felt unexpectedly decent.
Pep talk #1.  Okay, Rebecca.  You can do this.  You ran a half marathon at this pace.  Believe in yourself.  Let's go.  
Mile one was 14 seconds too slow.  SHIT.
Pep talk #2.  Relax, Rebecca.  It's just one mile.  You have 7 more.  Let's see if you can settle in and find your groove.  
1.25 miles in and my pace was the same.  DAMMIT.  I stopped.  I texted my coach.  He wasn't there.  Part of me wondered if he wasn't answering on purpose.  You know, so I didn't do exactly what I was doing.  This was not the case, but I was in panic mode and all the thoughts were flying.  Worry, fear and doubt were seeping in.  Do I stop or do I keep going?
Pep talk #3.  NO!  You're doing this.  Screw goal pace.  You just have to stick it out at this point.  It's all mental.  Take control.  And get this done. 
I didn't hit goal pace for miles three and four, but I had average pace on my watch and I could see that I was getting closer, which was a big boost.   And I needed all that I could get at that point.  At mile four I turned around.
Pep talk #4.  Four miles to go.  What have you got?  
And then, it happened.  I hit my target pace.  I couldn't hold on to it for the whole mile.  But, I'd felt it click.  And that was enough.  It was in there.  Then....magic.  Miles six through eight were right on pace.  Sweet Pete, I'd finally done it.  I was sailing.  It was amazing.  It was also slightly downhill, but still.  And then it was over.  Praise be.  I was pretty satisfied with how things had played out, even a little proud, given how rough the start was.  I hadn't done the workout as planned.  But, I'd fought hard and I'd held on.  That was progress.  I won't forget that feeling for a while.  I've trained with one main goal for the past three years.  I've been so focused on it and wanted it so badly that I've been able to hit almost every one of my workouts when I needed to.  All of them, weather permitted, outside.  I'm starting over in some ways, building off of what I've done, yes, but treading into new territory.  All the feelings of uncertainty and fear that were there when I set the goal of running a sub-3 are back for these new goals.  Somehow I figured out how to navigate through them before.  I have to believe that there is no reason I won't be able to do it again.  This workout was a step in the right direction.  And as hard as it was to get over this one hurdle, one of many, I'm sure, it was also somewhat rewarding.  Now, I know I can forge ahead from here.  Thank goodness for small victories.

Worked. But proud.

Listen to this:
Blaze Up The Fire - Major Lazer