The First Long Run

And so it begins.  With my first long run behind me, half-marathon training really feels ON.

I have run 4 miles exactly one other time in my life.  In November of 2010 –  a week out from my Master of Music recital.  I got on the treadmill and began singing the program in my head, beginning with the first piece.  I was so focused on visualizing every aspect of the performance that before I knew it, I had run 4 miles.  Totally bizarre.

My intention, nay, charge for today’s 4 mile was to go sloooooooooooowly.  I am following Jeff Galloway’s training program which is very conservative in pretty much every way.  He advocates very frequent walking breaks as well as an extremely slow pace for the weekly long run.  I’m conflicted about some aspects of this approach but I’m very committed to staying healthy and strong throughout this process.  My long runs will be about getting my body used to the repetitive motion of running over longer distances, pacing myself, and working through the inevitable mental blocks.

For this morning’s run, I returned to the scene of last week’s race:  Alameda’s shoreline.

California, you are heaven.

Based on my 5K pace of 10:30, I was supposed to run like 14:30mm.  That felt absurd so I made it my goal to stay in the 12mm range.  The first mile was very mentally challenging.  It reminded me a bit of being bored at the beginning of a long elliptical workout.

ARE WE THERE YET?

I recognized that I was in it for the long haul and that it would be a lot more enjoyable if I could just accept that and run.  While it was great to have my breath, it was physically weird to bounce along so slowly.  This was part of the challenge and I just checked my pace constantly.

About a mile in, I reached the point where I had seen last week’s finish line!  Fun!  I spent the next mile thinking about the race and before I knew it, I was at my turnaround.  Usually, I feel great when I reach 2 miles because I know I have only one more to go.   This time I felt great because I knew I easily had another two miles in me.  I continued to restrain myself for the third mile and on the last one, allowed myself to run a bit faster.

These splits? They’re working for me.

That dumb 5th little mile is me forgetting to turn off RunKeeper.  Dummy.

So clearly, this was not a sloooooooooow run.  It was about 40 seconds per mile slower than my regular pace instead of 2-3 minutes making it a slooow run.  The important thing is, I finished strong, kept my mind in check, and felt great afterwards.

Even greater once I had a delicious lamb burger from Café Leila.

Thumbs up.

And then, like a very good little runner lady, I came home and iced.

Preventative bliss.

Overall, a great run.  My hope for today was that it would make me feel more confident about the upcoming 10K and obviously, the half.  It absolutely did.

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7 thoughts on “The First Long Run

  1. Good for you! I am so excited to read about your progress in this. And what a lovely picture of you at the cafe; the sunlight enhances your inner glow and you just look so relaxed and…”native” is the word coming to mind. So maybe you look like a California Girl? 😛

  2. Jenn Kay says:

    You’re such an inspiration! I hate running, but have always wanted to be able to do it. Keep blogging!

  3. I love how thoughtful you are with your training. So not my style. I just run, trying to keep my heart rate where I want it. I have a friend who does full marathons and running groups on weekends to train and it drives him crazy that I run a faster half than him. Haha. I like that it’s obviously not just a form of exercise, but a point of interest for you. That I can definitely relate to! Good job! And that burger looks effing awesome.

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