Sunday, April 21, 2013

6.2 mile run

Saturday, April 20, 2013 - the day of my longest run in 3 years - Mileage for week of April 14-20th = 20 miles

I woke up yesterday morning in a panic - scheduled to run 6 miles on my training regimen that day and I stayed up way too late the night before.

Ben (my fiancĂ©) and I decided to head to a place called Bryant's on Friday night and have a nice relaxing evening.   For those of you non-Milwakeeans, Bryant's is Milwaukee's oldest cocktail lounge.  The pink squirrel (a favorite of mine) originated there and is a place Ben and I frequented often in our "dating years."  It's a small place, specializing in blended mixers, darkened loungy feel, and Frank Sinatra music.  We love it - if you've never been, go there :)

We got home later than anticipated after a wonderful evening.  I made myself drink a full bottle of water before going to bed because I knew that dehydration might be an issue during my Saturday run as I wasn't as diligent with my water consumption on Thursday and Friday as I should have been. 

Saturday morning when I woke up, I felt well rested but in no mood to run.  Plus it was gray outside, as it had been all week.  My trainings runs (4 runs at 3 and 4 miles each) during the week had not gone well as our ever-dependable Wisconsin weather had the days fluxuating between torrential downpours and cold weather.  Alas, I had to leave my running buddy Cheech at home all week and run alone.  He was not happy about that!

Saturday I did anything and everything I could to not run.  My motivation was minimal, at best.  I had some coffee, ate some breakfast and proceeded to clean the house, watch a movie, do laundry, organize my shoes, search Pinterest for more wedding ideas, and generally just put my run off as long as possible.  I also drank a lot of water...Finally at around 2pm, enough was enough.  I put my hair up, put on my yoga pants and running shoes...and realized I hadn't re-loaded my MP3 player.  Insert another hour delay in which I went back and forth over what to put on there, what was motivating, trying to find my Bruce Springsteen and Survivor cds and load those...  I also realized that I hadn't had my pre-run snack of pea pods and apple slices. 

I finally set my mileage into google around 4pm on Saturday.  I told Ben that my goal was six miles in under sixty minutes for the day.  I know, you're thinking, 10 minute miles?  Easy.  Well...I'm also trying to keep my pace for my runs at the time in which I'm going to shoot for my half at.  10 minute miles in a half marathon will have my half marathon at 2 hours, 11 minutes.  My thinking on this is that if I run my half marathon in under 2.5 hours, I will be happy - it's my first, my times can only get faster.  

Anyways, I finally got my mileage set (2 loops of a 3.1 mile route).  After stretching, I was out the door at 4:21 p.m.  My first mile in the sun felt pretty good, and I had Springsteen's Born to Run blaring in my eardrums right at the beginning.  When I made the turn at the one mile mark, I was hitting my stride and feeling great.  Past the one mile mark, there is a car lot that I've driven past countless numbers of times.  The gray haired man standing in the lot waved as I ran past - I smiled and kept on running.  Before you start thinking...weirdo - no worries, this guy wasn't a day younger than 70 and it was nice to see a kind gesture in this world of crazy.

The route I chose to run is mostly sidewalk which is nice because there is a lot of road construction going on in this area these days.  Around mile two and half my calves started to burn and I began regretting the French fries from dinner the night before.  I increased my stride to allow my calves a little bit more stretch and fell into a good stride.  I made it past our house (mile 3) and powered on for the second loop of the same route.  

I was feeling good...until I got to the gas station just past what would be mile 4.  My breathing got heavy and I was really wishing I had brought some water with me.  A friend of mine who runs half/full marathons quite frequently, advised me prior to Saturday that slowing to a power walk, even for a short distance, will make a world of difference and will affect your time positively because it's better to rest for a minute than injure yourself and be out for a week.  I slowed to a trot for a half block and realized she was right.  That half block rejuvenated me in a way that nothing else at that time could have.  That was about the time I passed the car lot for the second time and the same gray haired man was standing in the parking lot.  He, of course, waved again.  I increased my pace after a half block trot and powered on.  Mile 5 and I was thinking wow, I'm going to do this.  I'm going to finish my longest run in 3 years.  That was when I passed a fellow runner come towards me on the sidewalk pointing to his chin, and pointing up.  He repeated this gesture and I realized he was saying, "keep your head up."  I run, and have always run with my head generally angled down.  I gave him a thumbs up and increased my pace to the kind of pace that only a runner with the end in sight and andrenaline pumping through her veins can do.  I reached the end of the block and our house was in sight.  I literally gave everything I had and sprinted toward the finish.  When my feet hit the grass in front of the house I wanted to collapse...but I remembered that I had told Ben that I would finish this run in 60 minutes or less.  I jogged into the house and checked the clock - 5:21 p.m.  I did it - I ran 6.2 miles in exactly 60 minutes.  I grabbed a bottle of water and went back outside to calm my breathing and pace around the yard to avoid my calves and quads tightening up too quickly.

At the end of my post-run stretch and cool down, the sun was shining and I was grinning like an idiot for my simple accomplishment.  I was pretty proud of myself and although I'm sore today, I feel great.  I went online this afternoon and ordered my first "sweaty band".  I set a couple little goals for myself throughout my training and this was my first reward.  If I get next Saturday's mileage, I am going to start looking at t-shirts for my half.

Next Saturday I have an 8 miler scheduled.  I've already set my loop up and I plan to be more water conscious this week....and also, I will focus my "shorter" runs throughout the week on running with my head UP :)

34 days until my Madison half marathon!

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