The high from the unofficial half marathon lasted only so long. Off to Pittsburgh I went for school, and for one week running was all but forgotten in favor of papers, group projects, and spending time with great colleagues. I did get an offer to run with a couple of people, but almost spit out my water when they said they ran a "slow 11-12min/mile."
After returning from Pittsburgh, I was scheduled for an 8 mile run with Darann; who promptly decided that this distance was too long for the day (it was freezing cold 15 degrees) and decided to take me on my first trail run in the snow. I think I was supposed to enjoy it, but it was one of the most miserable runs that I have had. Trudging through the snow made me feel so out of shape, and tackling the hills I felt like that fat girl who first tried running. It did little for my confidence. But, I suppose in the end it was good for me (or at least I will give Darann the benefit of the doubt). You see, she has this habit of "springing" things on me because I am set in my ways, my routines, and little changes really throw me. She instead is a "go-with-the-flow" kinda person .... gosh I wish I could be more like that!
After the run, I decided more than ever than I needed to do something about my shoes and insoles. So off to Fleet Feet I went... and who should I find but Jake (better known as running god who was wicked nice to me the first day of class). Jake fit me for a new pair of shoes, and insoles, and a plan for how to break these in.
Tuesday I was off for a run in the new shoes, new insoles at the YMCA track. My left foot went numb (but my foot did not hurt), I forgot my Nike plus, and just overall it was NOT a good run. Certainly not a good thing for building the confidence. Thursday night was the group run for 5 miles... and since it was only 3 of us I was clearly slowing the group down, but I was trying my best. It was cold and snowing heavily... but half way through the run something clicked. I ran almost an entire mile at the end and felt awesome.
However, my next long run would be my most difficult yet ... and I just did not feel ready. Any confidence I had from the earlier unofficial half marathon was just.... gone...