Yesterday afternoon I ran my first long run since July 20th! That’s a very long time between long runs. I’ve done a few runs in the 6-10 mile range between then and now but nothing reaching 13 or more miles. I consider 13 or more miles to be a long run for me at this point.
I ran a new route that is 13.1 miles. I don’t really care too much for the new route. A good portion of it is along a recently paved section of Union St. which has steeply sloped shoulders. It’s just not comfortable running on ground that isn’t closer to being flat. When I could I ran on the road itself but there is enough traffic on this road that there isn’t much chance to do that.
The first half of the run went well. I was pretty comfortable but I didn’t feel like I was “flying” like I have on other nights. I got to the half way point after running for about 1 hour. In that first hour I was forced to stop and wait for a train. The delay was for about 1 minute. I took it as an opportunity to rest and to stretch.
At the half way point I walked and drank from the water bottles that I bought with me on my fuel belt. It was a nice rest and the water was good. Just a couple steps beyond the half way point I stepped off into the woods to relieve myself. I simply couldn’t run all the way home being so uncomfortable and I was in a nice wooded area (so I didn’t offend passing motorists). Then I continued on.
At about this point I felt good. I felt so good that I was considering telling Mary that I was going to revise my plans and run an addition 3-6 miles. I never did call Mary and I ended up doing just 13.1 miles because it was very difficult. I was hungry and my legs were very tired. I could feel that I had slowed down and despite efforts to increase me speed I knew that I wasn’t going very fast.
Somewhere in mile 11 I started pushing myself because I knew that I could finish in under 2 hours but to do so I would have to run faster than I was running. I pushed, and I pushed harder once I knew there was only 1 mile left. Eventually I came back to our mailbox after running for 58:52. That works out to a 9:04 per mile pace. That’s a new record for me for that distance and I’m quite pleased. I see that it’s possible for me to break a 9 minute pace for this distance but I don’t hage a burning desire to do so. Right now I’d like to see that distance become more comfortable instead.
The Rochester Half Marathon is less than 2 weeks away. I think I’m ready. Hopefully I’ll get a time under 2 hours. That would give me a decent starting corale for the Disney Marathon. I can’t believe I’m going to run a marathon. It’s not going to be easy.