Today was my third double digit run of this marathon training cycle. Despite being the third, I actually consider it my first real long run. Ten and eleven mile runs are something that I can do before Drew leaves for work in the morning. Thirteen miles need to be done on a weekend. Thus, that is why I feel anything over 13 is a long run.
Anyway, I set out everything last night so I had no excuses in the morning. I knew it was going to be grossly humid and I was right...93%. Thank goodness it was coolish with temps in the mid 70's. I was mentally prepared for the thick air, which makes it hard for me to breathe. I feel like I am huffing and puffing with every breath when in reality I am not.
I set out slowly giving my legs some time to wake up. Waking up at 5:20 and running by 5:45 does not give me much time to feel alive. I need that first mile or two to get over the zombie feeling.
Mile 1 - 9:40
Mile 2 - 9:35
Mile 3 - 9:17
I was feeling a little more awake, but was still feeling sluggish. I was also battling "do I run faster on this long run or just go slow". I know long runs should be slow. However, if I want to achieve my marathon goals I have to start pushing the pace. At this point, slow was winning. I really wanted sub 9 minute miles and that was not happening.
Mile 4 - 9:22
Mile 5 - 9:06 ---not sure how this happened because then this happened
Mile 6 - 9:14 ---I wanted to be moving foward not backward with my time
Around mile 6.5 I realized a car was driving very slowly on the other side of the median. It freaked me out some because it was still dark. I turned down a street and so did the car. I immediately turned around and headed for home. I was taking no chances with some crazy people (at least this is what I thought) when it was dark! I finished another mile and now it was light. So, I stupidly decided to turn around keep running. I saw the car again and realized it was a paper delivery car! No wonder it was moving slowly! I was so completely freaked, but glad it all worked okay for me to keep running outside and not on my treadmill.
Mile 7 - 9:12
Mile 8 - 9:14
Mile 9 - 9:11
At this point I was ready to be done. I was a gross sweaty mess. I also knew if I picked up the pace I could finish at two hours. I considered this is big win for me at this point in my training.
I had taken my GU at mile 6 and wanted to avoid taking another one. I decided to battle my mind because I know it will pay off on race day. As I was running faster through one of the hilliest developments near me I wondered why I always run here at the end of my runs. Hills are not the best term, but the largest inclines are in this area. This will make me stronger, right?
Mile 10 - 9:06
Mile 11- 9:02
Mile 12 - 8:57
I looked at my overall time when it beeped for mile 12. I knew I would have to run a sub 9 mile to finish under two hours. I pushed and finished my last mile in 8:38. My overall time was 1:59.26...room to spare! Ha!
The best part of this run was feeling strong for the second 6 miles. I am making progress each week. Here's hoping that continues!