The first long run in a long time

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.

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