Monday, September 26, 2011

Kill the Hill

Endorphins are wonderful. I think I'm still high from my 10 mile run yesterday. I'm definitely still in a little bit of disbelief.

I got up bright and early - I never have trouble getting out of bed on running group days! It was warmer and more humid than I had been expecting and hoping for, so I wore a new pair of shorts and one of my Target running t-shirts (they are cheap and comfy and I have a whole rainbow of them). I was a little nervous about the shorts and chaffing, as I realized at about 11:00 Saturday night that I had forgotten to run out and get some Body Glide, but with the temperature there was just no way I was wearing my capris. I wore my sexy socks, Camelbak, and took a package of Clif Bloks and Expresso Gu.

My mentor upgraded us from our 2/2 intervals to 3/2 intervals. I was very comfortable doing 4/2 on the Wednesday night group run, and of course I rocked some 8/3 intervals on Friday, but because 10 miles is the longest by far that I have ever run, I decided to play it safe and run slow and steady. My goal was to finish on my feet, not drag my ass to the finish in pain!

Running with a mentor is kind of like being a passenger in a car, in that if I'm not driving, I'm not paying much attention to where we are going. We ran down the Parkway for a bit - down a hill then up a hill - then turned into Preston and ran an out and back along the golf course and some very nice houses. I ate two Clif Bloks at 45 minutes. At the top of the neighborhood, I think we had done close to 5 miles and I was feeling good! The first half of the run seemed to go by pretty quickly.

 Then we turned right back onto the Parkway and ran down another mile or so, I guess. We picked up our pace, and at 1:30 I ate another two Clif Bloks. At the turnaround, we caught up with the group in front of us that was running 4/2, and at one point after getting caught at a long light during "run time" we ran 5 minutes straight to take advantage of a flat/downhill stretch and get back on track with our intervals.

When my mentor told me we had hit 8.5 miles, I just couldn't believe it. I was feeling really good! Getting a few blisters on the middle tootsies on my right foot and feeling the hills in my hamstrings, but nowhere near as tired as I feared I might feel. I did run out of water with about one mile to go. I had a cup at the last water stop with my last two Shot Bloks, but it really made me aware of how much I am drinking on my long runs (my Camelbak holds 70 ounces). I decided to save the Gu for another run - I didn't really need it, and since I've never tried it before, I thought maybe I would try it on a run closer to home just in case it doesn't agree with me.

The last half mile was uphill. Like, uphill uphill. I named it Hell Hill. And I killed it. (No, that is not the actual hill, but trust me when I say that it felt that big!)

When I got home, I decided to try an ice bath because I knew my legs would be screaming at me later in the day. It wasn't actually that bad - kind of like jumping in a cold pool. After a minute or so, it was fine. Even felt pretty good. Afterwards, I snuggled down under my comfy comforter and took a nice nap. When I woke up, I had enough energy to hit Inside Out Sports for Body Glide (I had never been there, and I love checking out new sports stores!), go grocery shopping, and run into Kohls for some new non-stick skillets. Then, after all that, I took the girls to dinner at Five Guys, since I get a treat meal on Saturday and Sunday and hello! Ran 10 miles! (The burger was great, but since I don't eat too many fatty foods these days, my body doth protest too much...)

On the way home, we unexpectedly saw a fireworks display and pulled off to watch it. It was like my own personal celebration and a perfect end to a pretty perfect day. I am feeling much more confident about my half marathon, and next Sunday's 12-miler? Bring it.

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