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Saturday morning on my training run for the week I decided to spend the time welcoming fall! I love fall, and spent a bit of time allowing myself to finally get excited for some of the things that are coming in my life over these next few months (pumpkin flavor, changing leaves, drinking warm tea again, scarves, boots, apples- Hmmm… most of these are food or clothing related).

I had debated the night before if I would wake up early to run or if I wanted to wait until around noon. At the time I preferred to start my run, the temperature was about 56 but humidity was 93% (UGH!). If I waited another 3-4 hours it would be 10-12 degrees warmer but the humidity was significantly lower (upper 40’s/low 50’s). I debated for a few hours before going to bed, and decided to set my alarm for early in the morning and decide based on how it felt.

Despite being at 93% humidity, the weather felt cool when I woke up, so I decided to go for it! I did a very face paced (for me…) 14.5 mile bike ride the day before, so I was wondering how my legs would feel. I’m also always a bit nervous as I head out, not knowing how my posterior tibial tendinitis will behave… My goal was to try and hold my half marathon goal pace for the run, but I didn’t know how that would go as my last few “long runs” have been significantly slower.

As I started out I fell naturally into a good pace and my breathing evened out pretty quickly. I started off listening to a Jillian Michaels podcast, and that is usually interesting and funny enough that I’m a little distracted, but light enough that I can still stay tuned into my own body.

Around mile 2.5 my IT bands started to hurt, and this worsened throughout the rest of my run. My IT band pain is a constant in each training cycle, and while I’m very frustrated with it, I’m also used to training with that pain.

I ate a few margarita flavored shot bloks at mile 4 as that is what I do during a half marathon. Because of the humidity, I also carried my hand held water bottle that was filled with gatorade. I worried that carrying this for 7 miles would get tiring, but I had no problems and was very grateful for it.

I ran my usual course and I had a great time. In fact, this was definitely my best run (in terms of enjoyment and feeling) that I’ve had since maybe April sometime. From mile 5-5.5 I really just spent the time truly loving and appreciating what I was in the middle of doing.

I did this run using the 3:1 run/walk ratio and really like this. Every other walk I stopped and stretched out my IT bands a little bit (just in the last 2 miles). I was able to stick to my goal pace throughout the run, with my average pace at 11:24 per mile! My 7 mile training run last fall was at an 11:46 per mile pace, so I was happy to see that my pace dropped as much as it did.

Like I said, this run was my best run in months, and I wanted to take the time to recognize that! I ended up doing 7.4 miles, and loved almost every step of it!

Now it’s your turn to share! What makes a training run good in your eyes?