Due to some unfortunate scheduling of work-based activities, I had to run before the sun was up this morning. The Alarm Clock Cats saw to it that I was out of bed at 7am, and very helpfully allowed me to tend to their empty tummies as part of the waking up process. I had been freezing during the night and assumed that it would be quite cold outside as well. So I bundled up for the first time this winter in my lovely pink Gore jacket, my heavy running tights (the ones that insist on rolling down over my belly and sagging at the crotch; most attractive), a base layer and mid layer, a buff to keep my neck warm, a headband to keep my ears warm (because under no circumstances will I EVER wear a hat), and gloves. I strapped the head torch to my head and put on a hi-vis vest that had been left behind by a builder ages ago. Ready to go!
What I had forgotten was that the inside of the cottage tends to be significantly colder than the outside world, even in the midst of winter. By the time I got to the top of the lane, I had taken off the head torch (who knew that the sun came up that quickly?) and the gloves and unzipped the jacket. After the first mile of running, I had taken off the buff and the headband and unzipped the jacket even further. For a free item of clothing, I have no complaints about the hi-vis vest but it is surprisingly warm, especially when combined with a winter-weight running jacket.
Despite me being overdressed and continuously tugging at my tights, the run went well. My target pace for this easy 3-mile run was 11:49/mile. I averaged 11:26/mile and felt good with it. It definitely didn't feel too fast; my breathing was quite slow and relaxed and I could have carried on a full conversation with no effort (if I were the kind of person who tolerates being talked at first thing in the morning, that is). I think that I'm maybe a little bit fitter than the generic person that my training programme is aimed at, but I'll still stick as close as I can to the programme's targets.
I'm trying not to get sucked into my old mindset of 'But I can go faster!' because that way injury lies. It's hard to be patient and even harder to go slow when it feels like I'm ready to resume normal running again, but it's more important to me to make it to the start line of the marathon than it is to push for a fast time but risk yet another race-ending injury.
I've not given up. I've just redefined my goals.
NoMoreCake-athon update: There were biscuits at the meeting this morning. I politely declined them but, given that they were Ginger Nuts, this perhaps wasn't a true test of my resolve.