10 Miles of Emotions

Decided to re-use this image because if I didn't love the accomplishment I felt at the end of every trying, long run, I wouldn't love running.

I hit a milestone when my Garmin flashed 10 miles–the farthest I’ve ever run in my life (there has been a pattern here lately) and the end of an emotional run. Rather, the end of an emotional week.I had to do my long run on Sunday because I had an agility trial with the dogs on Saturday, and thankfully some of the friends running in the Derby Half with me run on Sundays, so I tagged along. Unfortunately, though, they were only running 7 miles, while I had to hit 10. So I tried to get there a little early (timing fail, only got there a little over five minutes earlier) so I could get in a couple miles before they started their run. So I only got in 1.5 miles before they texted me saying they were on their way. I had to go back to get my water bottle, so they got a head start. I ended up running about five miles by myself–no music (hadn’t packed my headphones because I figured I’d be running with friends), and hot temperatures.

Oh yeah, remember how last week I was running in my winter running pants, long sleeved running shirt and fleece (and had been dressed like that the past couple of long runs)? This week the temps were at record highs in the upper 70s! I was running in shorts and a t-shirt, and I made sure I had my water with me to keep me hydrated. But one thing I forgot? Sunscreen. Whoda thunk that I’d need sunscreen in mid-March, especially after running fully-clothed the last couple of weeks? So now I’m sport burnt arms, with a Garmin water tan line, and a tan line on my thigh from my IT Band strap. Yay for warm weather running! (Am I officially a runner now?)

ANYWAY, back to the 10 miles: There was a point in the run (about 4 miles into it) that I was just frustrated with everything. My legs were tired, I was so hot, I just lost all motivation. I walked for .10 miles after the first three and told myself I could walk again at 6, but at about 4.5 I couldn’t make it. I relented and walked, took a sip of water, and ripped open into my (first-ever) Gu (strawberry-banana) and slowly ingested half the packet. (I’m not 100% sold on the flavor, nor the texture, but I’m sure I’ll get used to it the more I run and the more I eat it.) Then I did a few shoulder and neck rolls and told myself I was in the middle of nowhere on the Legacy Trail, I had to run, so I might as well make the run worth something and run to 10. So off I went, continuing to put one foot in front of the other, cheering as each mile ticked down.

Then I finally caught up with my friends–finally!! I reached 5 miles and turned around to run with them. It was then that my pace slowed because they were going at about a 11-12 minute mile (I was averaging 9:30-10). It was hard to slow my pace down, but I think I needed that because I needed to gather my legs and enjoy the run with my friends for a couple of miles.

It was what my mind needed, and we pushed together until I hit 7.5 and they had just under a mile left. I took off on my own, yet again, and told them I’d meet up with them in 2.5 miles. That’s when it got hard again. It didn’t help that I was running towards the end of the trail, so if I had more mileage to go, I had to double back and run back through the trail, yet again. Talk about killing your motivation! The next time that I run on that trail, I need to plan things better and know when my half-way point is so I can just run out and back.

Mile 9 was the hardest for me because of the running small down-and-backs, but I started talking to myself and saying things like, “0.20 miles left…you can do this…anyone can do anything for two minutes!” And I did.

In that run, I had ups and downs with my enegery and efforts–just like I’ve had all the past week. When I finished, I walked and felt a little sick, but I was done. I don’t know how I’ll feel when I have to do 11, 12, or even when I actually have to run in the half marathon! But I know that I need to work on my mental strength as well, and continue to push myself.

My splits:
Mile 1: 8:45
Mile 2: 8:55
Mile 3: 9:13
Mile 4: 10:00
Mile 5: 11:09 (this was my mini mental breakdown)
Mile 6: 11:11 (joined up with my friends)
Mile 7: 11:32
Mile 8: 11:16
Mile 9: 10:26
Mile 10: 10:19
Total: 1:42:39 for 10 miles (avg. 10:17)

Not my fastest, not my best, but I did it. I only walked twice, and that was all within the first half.

Here’s hoping the next week of running, and life, goes a little better. I only have one more full week of training before I leave for Reno for the AKC National Agility Championships, which means I won’t get to run for almost a week (so this will be my “rest week,” which I think my legs are needing), then I’ll hit it back again, hard, for the last couple of weeks before the half marathon.

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