But Sunday's run really felt like it helped from the semblance of our pace group. I led the group for the whole run and kept a steady pace. Fewer runners ran ahead of me this time than last and the whole group was close, there wasn't too much spacing between the front and any stragglers in the back.
It felt like a pace group, not like a collection of runners.
It was nice being in front and having the runners stay behind me. There were some runners who I know can run faster than the pace I was holding but they stayed back, or level, with me. And when I was going a little too fast, I slowed down and the runners around me also slowed down.
Some runners went ahead, four to be precise, but three of them I know are experienced marathoners so that's fine. They can run on their own and be okay. The rest of the group stayed back.
It was a solid, strong run. Of course, it's only four miles but in a way that's good that we had this kind of run now. The miles will only keep increasing. Next week is five, then six, then seven, eight, nine and 10. Once we hit 10, we won't single digits again.
But that's the good thing about these short miles. While the first-year Lopers are just getting used to running longer miles, us pace leaders are getting the hang of this pace-leading thing. By the time we hit double digits we will all be ready for it.
END OF THE STREAK
So much happening on one day...
On Saturday, for the first time in 19 days, I did not run. I couldn't. I was much too sore to run. It was a bummer because it was the end of my streak.
All told, I ran about 95 miles over those 18 days and I really did get my legs to be stronger, which is what I wanted when I began the streak (although I didn't set out with a streak in mind).
It's not a long stretch of time in the grand scheme of things but it felt great to force myself to get out and find new ways to fit runs in. This boot camp that I just started - which is the culprit for my run streak's demise - forced me to find ways to get my miles in around that. And running two-a-days, which I did twice this week, also helped me get my miles in which forces me to be more disciplined.
Funny thing is, I ran eight times this week, which averages to more than one a day obviously, but still my streak ended. Irony.
Anyway, none of the progress I've made in the last three weeks will regress. In fact, I plan on leaping to the next level. The boot camp classes will help catapult me into becoming a more fit person, not just a better runner, but it will help carry over into my running as well. A strong core is such a benefit for a runner to have and that will be nice to have once more. My core is not strong as I don't usually work it out. Stronger leg muscles and more toned muscles will also help out when I run.
This end of my streak is merely a one-day break. Sunday's four-miler is the start of a new streak. We'll see where I am 18 days from now. That's the most exciting part about all this, just seeing my progress as I gain more and more strength.