I hope I'm not speaking too soon, but for the first time since the LA Marathon, and really the first time in a while, I'm feeling really strong about my running. I can't quite pinpoint what it is that has changed, but I like it : ) I'm beginning to consider what I might be capable of if I really work hard and focus. On that note, I did an easy 3 miles last night with my roommates to recover after my back to back interval track workout and tempo run. Even though it was supposed to be easy, I found that it was actually hard to maintain a slower pace!
I'm also feeling a lot more confident about my form. I know it's not nearly perfect, but I am much more in tune with my body and have gained a lot more knowledge on proper running form. I can actually feel a difference, too. When I start to feel something "off" or an ache or soreness somewhere, the first thing I do is assess my stride and form. I make sure I'm standing up straight, shoulders and arms relaxed and swinging straight, hands aren't clenched, feet are landing lightly midfoot, and my steps are short and quick underneath my body. Just this quick assessment with the necessary adjustments seems to do the trick and set me straight.
With these feelings comes a lot of excitement over my upcoming races! I have a 10 miler in a couple weeks that I did last year (it was actually my first official race!), and I'm kind of hopping to beat my time of 1:44. Then in May I have back to back halfs, one in my hometown of Sacramento, and the other in the Santa Barbara wine country. I plan on racing the first one and going for a PR, and just running the second for fun and to enjoy the scenery. Then I have marathon no. 4 in June, the San Diego Rock 'n' Roll Marathon that I've decided to run with my Team In Training girls to help get them through their first marathon : )
I've also been checking out the race calendar for Sacramento since I'll be moving home after I graduate in June. While the running community here is great and nothing beats the gorgeous runs I get to do here in Santa Barbara, there really are only a handful of races throughout the year. Sacramento and the surrounding area on the other hand have one almost every weekend! I've been spending (wasting) a lot of time looking up races which only makes me that much more excited for the ones coming up!
Tomorrow I have a 2 hour 15 minute run with the Team, then a full day of work. I have a feeling it's going to be a bit of a struggle for some of my girls as it's a big jump from their last run (spring break kind of got in the way), but I know they can do it! It's such a great feeling to be a part of milestones like these and be part of someone's journey toward accomplishing something as incredible as a marathon. Go Team!