Am I the only one who loves long runs? I get a teeny bit nervous beforehand, but then once I’m done, it’s all I can think about for the rest of the day. When’s my next one? How far? I wish I could just go for another one right now.
I planned to run 10 today with my long-run buddy Zoë (Run, Zoë, Run), but it didn’t work out. Her baby, Goober, slept in! Hooray! She’s a new mom and I KNOW how badly she needs sleep.
I got to the Cedar River Trail parking lot and got my stuff together when my stomach all of a sudden went sour. Thank GOODNESS for the nice park bathrooms! Maybe this is TMI, but it’s probably good Zoë wasn’t there. The start of my run was delayed for a bit.
Finally, I didn’t feel too sick anymore and made my way back to the car to put on my fuel belt. I wore my camo skirt today (testing thigh-rub ratio), a white sweat-wicking shirt, my white CEP socks and my black Moeben sleeves. I almost took off the sleeves because they seem a little big now. I didn’t want them falling down and driving me crazy. (Oh yeah, happy to report I lost weight last week and am only 5 pounds from my goal!)
It was about 50 degrees out and there was some wind. I was cold and left the sleeves on. Finally, I got going. It felt like it took me forever to just get out and get running on the trail.
Since I was going solo, I decided I would try out what I’ve been thinking my marathon race pace will be.
So I’ve been thinking a lot about how I want to run my race at the end of June. This will be my first full. And it may be my last, too. With all the shin problems, I may be sticking to half marathons for a while after this. So, while I want to enjoy it, I also want to “race” it.
I expect a lot from myself and, yes, I have some goal times in my head. But I also know 26.2 miles is a long way and that anything can happen, so if I “just finish,” I will be happy with that.
But I don’t think I want to just run it without paying any attention to my pace at all. You all know how I need a plan. I’m a rule-follower. A list-maker.
So, I was thinking of running around a 10-minute mile during the 5 minutes of running and then 1 minute of walking. I had no trouble sticking to this for the first three miles: 10:13, 10:11, 10:14. But that’s just about when my body gets nice and warm.
I felt good and my legs just wanted to turn over a little faster, so I let them. Mile 4 and 5: 9:36 and 9:44.
I saw a few runners here and there, and some cyclists, too. Not a lot of people, but enough to keep things interesting. And, when I got home, some friends had posted on my Facebook wall that they’d seen me as they were driving by on the highway. That’s a first!
The route I take on the CRT is great, but the way out is slightly uphill — about a 100-foot ascent over the first half of my run, 5 miles, today. You can’t really feel it.
Until you turn around. Whee! Now I really couldn’t slow down. And it was even worse when there was someone in front of me to “pick off.” Mile 6, 8:58, and Mile 7, 9:00.
I was really focusing on keeping my arms swinging front-to-back and not side-to-side, and keeping my core upright. I was talking to my PT last week and I mentioned that I have to remind myself to engage my core during running. So, guess what? That’s a good thing! He described our core like a fist. Many of us forget about it and it’s just a loose hand. By engaging it, it becomes a tight, strong fist. Then we forget about it again and it loosens a little, but it’s still tighter than if we didn’t engage it at all. Does that make any sense? It was easier to understand with him holding his fist in front of me.
Anyway, I was able to keep my hands and forearms loose, but my shoulders felt tight toward the end of my run. It was starting to bug me during Mile 8 and I started to feel tired. Still taking walk breaks every five minutes, though.
But then a big group of runners approached from the other direction. They all had big grins on, and were smiling and waving at me. I felt energized! Mile 8 was 9:09, but Mile 9 was 8:57. Mile 10 I kept with what Zoë and I have been doing on our past long runs and ran the entire mile: 8:03.
It was a great run. A confidence booster! My shin is sore, but not any more than it’s been after 3 or 4 miles. Hoping for a good PT session on Tuesday and clearance for that 20-miler. I really need/want it. Let’s see if I’m still loving long runs after that one!