Let me first recap my long run from this weekend. As you remember, Friday night I spent at home being super cool getting all ready for my long run on Saturday because that’s pretty much the life of a runner. I had originally planned for 12 miles which was also what my training plan called for, but after mapping out my run I wasn’t able to get an exact 12 mile route where I wanted to run; it was either going to be 11.71 miles or 13, so I opted for the latter.
13 miles…that’s basically a half marathon. This was the second longest distance I have ever ran solo and I will admit that I was a little nervous. Running a half marathon with water stations every mile and people cheering you and telling you how good you look at mile 12 sounds heavenly versus running 13 miles alone. By yourself. With no music.
Confession: I was being 100% honest when I said that running is about 88% mental for me. I typically start mentally preparing for long runs on Thursdays, getting in the right mindset for Saturdays. Building up that mental toughness is what helps me get through those 2+ hour runs.
That being said, I love running out on the trails and I was reminded why on this long run. Running on trails allows me to slow down and focus in on pace and getting the most out of a run, without the distractions of cars passing by, people honking, having to stop at traffic lights and excess noise. The trails are also shaded which helps immensely when the sun gets higher, there are nice drafts from bicyclists zooming by, and handfuls of other runners who you might pass 3 or 4 times, thus developing an unspoken runner’s camaraderie of encouragement, respect and support for someone who is out there as long or longer than you are. Oh and the bug bites. It wouldn’t be a trail run without the bug bites.
As for the run itself, it was by far the most solid 13 miles I’ve ever ran, which is encouraging to me this early in training. I was able to pace myself (which is usually harder to do outside) and settle into a comfortable groove which allowed me to run the whole entire time with one stop to refill my water bottle…also the longest I have ever ran without stopping! This can be accredited to a slower, steadier pace than what I run at. I also packed a few Shot Bloks to ‘test out’ for a little boost of energy during the run, and maybe those helped too, I honestly don’t really know. They were easy to eat and didn’t get stuck in my teeth but I also despised he aftertaste of pure sugar in my mouth for the remainder of the run.
All in all, this was a great run. I can only hope and pray future long runs go as well as this past one did! I can’t believe it’s already the third week of training…I still ask myself “Is this really happening?!” and yes…yes it is.
Monday: 3 miles, easy…ended up doing 3.25 at a moderate pace plus strength training
Tuesday: Zumba, my favorite workout of the week!
Wednesday: 5 miles, easy
Thursday: 3 miles, easy
Saturday: 14 miles
Weekly total: 25 miles (maybe a couple extra) 😉