It’s hard to believe it’s already week 9 of training. Since there was no training team long run last week, I decided to do a normal long run rather than the pace run on the schedule.
My goal was 8 miles continuously in addition to the 1 mile warm up. Now that I really feel healthy it’s time to step up my mental game and train my mind to go long without the expectation of stopping at some point. An extra challenge was the fact the clocks sprang forward, so our 7:30am run felt like 6:30am. I only ended up with about five hours’ sleep, but since that’s usually what happens the night before races, I knew I could still run.
Some people did faster pace runs but I lined up with the 10:30/mile group. I recognized some people from the 10:30-11 pace group, so I wasn’t the only one long running rather than pace running.
There were about ten people running around me; a nice little pack that allowed me to ignore my watch and focus on just staying in the middle of the group. We passed the three mile marker and most of the group went back, but I kept on with four others. The others were trying for a 10:15 pace but since I was feeling good I stuck with them. I overheard one guy say he was running 20 miles and another say he was running 16 so I was concerned I was with a bunch of marathoners and would be turning back on my own. I had my new salted caramel Gu with me but honestly having people around me is just as important as fuel. Speaking of fuel, look at all the great stuff I got yesterday! So excited to try all these new flavors.
Fortunately I didn’t have to worry abut running alone because when I turned around at the four mile marker a woman named Jennifer came with me. She helped me rein in my pace as I tend to accelerate when I see a lot of open space in front of me. And though we were both listening to music we also talked most of the time which really made the miles go by quickly for me. I didn’t even need my Gu. I think I could have gone faster but I’m still trying to be gentle to my body and save a harder effort for race day. I did finish the last section at a much speedier pace.
Even though it was in the low 30s I still did plenty of sweating. I was glad I had my beach towel to sit on as I waited at the drive thru at Starbucks as my wet clothes began to make me feel freezing. That transition from warm to unbearably cold happens so quickly in winter running.
After reviewing my splits, I realized I ran a bit faster than I thought I would.
My average pace was basically the same as the Mo’ Cowbell Half Marathon, so I guess I did a pace run after all!