Two weekends ago when my friends were visiting, one of them asked me how it feels to add an entire mile to a run. I don't think I really had a good answer for her. I'm still not sure that I do. But I can say this: there's a reason that running is both a physical and a mental sport. Every time you decide to go for a new distance you have to keep reminding yourself that you can do it. You have to know in your heart and in your mind that you can finish that distance.
So that's what I kept telling myself when I did my first-ever 10 mile run on Saturday. I knew when I got to that mile 5 marker up there that I had to turn around and make it back the entire way I just came. Sure, it was a little daunting, but I wasn't going to let myself down. I'd looked forward to this run all week.
My day started with a bowl of cottage cheese topped with Fiber One and a banana. And plenty of water, of course. I followed that up a few hours later with a Nature Valley peanut butter granola bar. I filled my water bottle, grabbed my Sports Beans, iPod and phone and headed out to the bike path. I purposely parked as far from the start of the path as possible to give me a nice, short warm-up walk. I stopped at the porta-potty for a last minute pit-stop and discovered that it was out of toilet paper. Oh well. My capris are moisture-wicking! I'd decided to wear capris, a short-sleeved top and a long-sleeved top. After the first half mile I was a little concerned that I was overdressed, but it turned out to be just fine.
Overall the run was uneventful. I had to keep reminding myself to slow down. My training plan wanted me to run these miles at a 10:49 minute/mile pace and my Garmin was consistently telling me I was running them in the 10:teens. Like clockwork my left shin started to act up around mile 2 but quit its whining shortly thereafter. My shoulders did start to ache around mile 6 so I had to focus on keeping my shoulder blades down and back and my shoulders out of my ears. I think the most irritating part of the entire run was that towards the end my feet started to burn. However, the new-to-me scenery at mile 5 was worth it. I can't wait to see what it looks like once things start turning green.
Every time I do a long run I think about how many more miles I would have to do if I were actually running a half-marathon. Saturday that extra mileage would have been 3.1 miles. Could I have gone on for 3.1 miles on Saturday? I think I could have. It wouldn't have been pretty, I would have slowed down considerably and my feet sure would have hurt, but I could have finished. Or at least right now I think I could have. I tend to block out how I was really feeling after a long run. Again, running is so much more mental than you'd expect. If you don't remember how bad it was, of course you're going to do it again! Or more of it.
Oh, and even though I tried to tell myself to slow down, I still finished with an average pace that was faster than my prescribed training pace. Whatcha gonna do?
And here's the other stats:
Posted from bimactive.com
Post-run, I scarfed down a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, some pretzels and drank a glass of chocolate milk. Then I showered and took a short nap on the couch. For once, I felt GREAT after my nap. I even had plenty of energy to go out with some friends for dinner. Today, on the other hand, I feel kind of creaky and tired. I guess instead of delayed on-set muscle soreness I have delayed on-set sleepiness.
By the way, my longest scheduled run before my half is 11 miles. So that mental aspect? Definitely gotta kick in for those last 2.1 miles on race day. For those of you that run or race, what do you do to get you through those virgin miles?