Sunday, November 22, 2015

Long Post about a Long Run

Briefly on Friday, I thought about doing my long run after school. I even stopped for a small coffee for added fuel. Between the drive from starbucks and home, I completely changed my mind. I sent out a text to a few AREs ladies about running on Saturday and thankfully Jen replied. (this seems insignificant, but if you could only understand how much I fear group running...)

Marcy dog and Foster Rhoda puppy are unable to sleep in, so I was up at my normal time of 6:30. I made some oatmeal in the slowcooker, drank my coffee and read last weeks newspaper. It was a lovely morning before heading over to campus. I was a bit frustrated that the parking lots were closed due to a sporting event  (that didn't even start until well after we were done running.) But a fellow ARE'r lives in an adjacent neighborhood, so we took advantage of that and parked at his house.  

The SUNY loop is probably my favorite run.  It's mindless and I know it well. The sidewalks are lit at night, and its almost a perfect 3 mile loop.  My goal was 3 loops for 9 miles. While I say I'm not training for anything, it's not true. I still hope to have a PR run on New Years Day along with base building for other goals for 2016. Jen and I headed out for the first loop at a pretty steady clip. I've cut back my running from 5 days to 3 and my legs felt fresh.  

The 3 miles went quick. Before I knew it we were back at the cars for some water, adjusting of clothing, and to pick up a 3rd runner, Meredith. After our brief stop the three of us headed out for another loop. Meredith is probably the speediest of all of us and its obvious with how our pace increased. My legs still felt good, likely because I was focusing on chatting.

After our second loop Meredith bid farewell - she had raced a 5k prior to joining up. Jen decided to call it also,  I was so thankful for their company for the first 6 miles that I knew I could do the last loop solo. 

Lately I've been allowing my watch to dictate how a run feels (if my pace is slow- I'll immediately think it was a crappy run)  So I decided to cover my watch up with duct tape so I wouldn't focus on it.  I'd be lying if I said I didn't look at all, but I didn't sneak any peaks until I was running solo.  

I felt like I was running SO much slower after the girls left. I could hear myself breathing hard and was noticing when my gait felt different. I overanalyzed every. single. movement. I was shocked to see later that my pace was fairly even.  

I had kept running until my watched beeped for the 9th mile and at that point was a bit of a haul away from my car. I decided I would run back to see if it was closer to a 10th mile. At this point, I watched my watch and decided when I was at 9.5 that I had enough in me for another half mile.  

I finished 10 miles with an average pace of 10'12.  

I am stoked.  Even during my diligent training for MHHM all of my long runs were at a significantly slower pace.

This is a long winded post about one single run.  

What it really comes down to is that I am finally seeing how much I've progressed. I know I've stared at my NIKE+ stats for the past few months. My average pace has gone down, my distance totals have gone up, but I wasn't really seeing it. 

The best comparison I found was from looking at my first 10 mile run of the summer. My route wasn't identical, but close. The conditions were likely very different (hot and humid vs perfect running weather) but not only has my pace drastically improved (11'38" vs 10'12") so has my mental endurance. I remember feeling overwhelmed at the idea of 10 miles and so I walked one minute of each mile.  

After a month of grieving at the missed PR, I've come to accept it and to really see all the progress that I've made this year.  


  1. It's interesting how sometimes our watch or GPS can affect how we think we're doing! We need to relearn how to listen to our bodies once in awhile :)

    1. I completely agree. I love the numbers, so duct taping the face of my watch was my best option !