Oh! Hey, Gurl! What’d you do this morning?
Nothing major – just your average SUNDAY MORNING EIGHT MILER.
Anyone remember two months ago when I wasn’t sure I could run 3 miles without stopping? 8 miles today without a single walk break. It was SO MUCH FUN! I absolutely cannot believe how my running has progressed.
My body has been a little wonky lately and I’ve spent a LOT of time on the couch watching the Olympics. As a result, my legs were a little stiff this morning. I spent a bit of extra time stretching but recognized that over the course of 8 slow miles, my legs would have plenty of time to loosen up. I made sure I had a filling meal last night with plenty of water.
Opted not to bring any water with me, for fear of cramping. I know I’m going to have to deal with this at some point so I plan to do some of my shorter training runs with water and various fuels. I did bring half of a Kit’s Organic bar but didn’t end up eating it. Scarfed it on the way home though!
For y’all East Bay folk: I began my run at Lake Merritt, headed up Grand Ave (until it became 51st), crossed over Broadway and headed down College. I turned around at College and Russell and took the same route back. It was a fantastic route because the first two miles had some nasty inclines. As soon as I reached the top of each hill, I smiled anticipating how good it would feel to run down those hills in the home stretch.
I struggled with keeping my pace as slow as I’d planned. When I first began doing “long runs”, I was aiming for an 11-11:30mm pace. This was based on Jeff Galloway’s recommendations. Now, my goal is to keep my body comfortable and breathing even. That seems to happen between 11-10:30 over a long (flat) distance and I think that’s just fine.
The first couple miles were challenging. My legs felt heavy and the hills got my heart rate up a little higher than I like early in a run. Once I reached the third mile, it was almost completely flat or downhill for the remainder. Both mentally and physically, I felt awesome. I made a special playlist (entitled “Long Run PowerPlay”) that was inspiring and distracting when I needed it to be. Thanks be to Kelly, Britney, Rhianna, and even dirty Ke$ha!
I got a kick out of running through neighborhoods that I’ve driven so many times. It was especially fun and trippy to run from one neighborhood to another, passing both Dailey Method studios! Running past everyone having brunch also felt kind of awesome. Most poignant was passing the sites of many caloric crimes. There are several restaurants where I used to regularly eat huge and unhealthy meals as a complicated form of self-punishment. It felt incredible to trot my strong body past my former haunts. Pride.
In the last couple miles, I truly felt that I could have kept running indefinitely. I had a bit of stiffness in my left ITB and some sensation in the arch of my right food. Not surprising that after 84 minutes of consecutive running, I would feel some sensations. I wouldn’t even go so far as to call it discomfort. As soon as I reached my car, I spent a few minutes walking around and stretching. And texting.
The rest of the day was spent stretching, icing, eating, Olympicsing, and a trip to REI for some sweet new runner swag. More on that tomorrow. OH, I almost FORGOT! My dude found my first gray hair:
So that’s something.
I really couldn’t care less about aging. Things keep getting more and more awesome so bring it: wrinkles, silvery hair. Just makes me look more like a Hogwarts professor and I’m fine with that.
What an awesome morning. I looked forward to this run all week and it just made me even more psyched for October. Next stop, double digits!
Tell me about your long runs! Fueling, music, attitude, pace. I love learning from all of you!