Like I have said in the past, I really don't follow a strict running schedule because of work and life and I like to just go with what is right with me. The one thing I really stick with is getting in my long runs once a week. Today I took on the long run of 13.1 miles. I had planned it do it today because I am off of work, actually off for the next 6 days, it is glorious. The weather has finally cooled off here and because it is perfect timing, considering the race is now in 28 days, getting in this last long run would be essential. I know I can run 13.1 miles, I have done it 3 times before, actually 4, if we count my very first training run of 13.1, my body can handle it, but for the sake of myself I want to make sure each and every time.
Yesterday I made sure I fueled my body right at breakfast, lunch and dinner and I did. I got to bed at a decent time, I know the day before race day, I can never fall asleep right away, same with training. I had my clothes and everything laid out and I was ready to go. I got up around 430, I had set my alarm for 5 but I guess my body wanted to start a little earlier. For breakfast I had a light English muffin with one tablespoon of reduced fat peanut butter and a banana and some water. I packed my cooler with my Dark Chocolate Zico water and I wanted to try Lenny and Larry's Muscle Brownie I had received in a RunnerBox awhile ago. I knew I wanted to eat something right after.
I got downtown to my spot around 545. I thought for sure there was going to be tons of cars because the weather was perfect, cool 70 degrees with a great breeze and it was dark and early. I was the only car in the parking lot!! A little bit of panic set in because god forbid something happened to me, I like to be around a lot of people, but I shook it off. I got my fuel belt ready and I was comfortable in my long sleeved shirt I had on. Yeah I had to take advantage of this cooler weather.
I had a great first mile pace. I was feeling really strong and my stride was comfortable, the walks weren't hard and each walk I transition right into my run perfectly. My ankle was bothering me, but not when I walked, only when I stepped down hard and was making turns. I have no clue what I did, but I kept chanting Mind of Matter and pushed the shooting pain out of my head. I seriously don't know where my motivation and determination come from because that hurt a lot at times.
At around mile 7 I started to feel a road block. My pace was slowing down, I was getting caught up in my head. I chewed on my Gatorade Fruit Punch chews with some water and then I got back to it. I jumped the road block for a while and then that freaking 10 mile road block came back up. I swear once I hit 10 miles, I always slow down a bit, not sure why, its like my brain says "nope we are done" I took some sport beans and really started running. I kept saying 13.1 is just a 5k with a 10 mile warm up. I was running back in Snell Isle, this really beautiful area and I was trying to make sure that I gained at least 4 miles back there before I headed back to my car because I knew from one part I would have at least a mile back, so if I went over the bridge at 12.5 I would finish the 13.1 right at my car.
Well I am horrible with direction and just was running down streets, not looking where I was going or where I have been that I got lost. My runtastic was creeping on 12 miles and I was nowhere to where I needed to be. My pace was great and the amazing thing I was running fantastic. I wasn't tired or hot or sore, I was just running. I had to pause my runtastic for a minute because I started to panic, cause I kept circling the same street, over and over, at least 4 times and I really didn't want to take on a lot of mileage, my legs were in a enough trouble. I had google maps take me home. But I ran until it said 13.1 and then walked the rest to my car, about a good 1.5 mile away, I will never do that again.
Hitting that 13 miles is still emotional moment for me. I cant believe I am on this journey and getting it done and getting better and better each time. Tears always seem to well up and I am just overcome with emotion, all kinds, happy and then sad. Sad mainly because no one in my family has seen me accomplish this except through pictures on Facebook. I would love it if just one time, they flew down when I was running to witness it. My boyfriend is always there for me at the finish line, but having my mom or Poppy there, god what a sight it would be. And of course I am overcome with emotion that my dad isn't even here to hear about my journey. You do not know how many times I wish I could just call him to tell him about my run or that I did it. I can still hear his voice at times, but it is slow starting to fade away.
I do believe he was running with me today because I accomplished this run 5 minutes faster than when I did IronGirl in April. Five minutes doesn't seem like a lot but to me, it really is everything. Walking back to my car was a bit rough, my feet and legs with heavy and super tired but I made it back and then the parking lot was full and I could see a lot of people starting or coming back from their runs, they decided to not start as early as me. I mean 2 hours of running is a lot of time, I like it early so I can enjoy the rest of my day. I stretched it out and god does that feel phenomenal and then I headed home. I cried a bit on the way home, I tell ya, I am one emotional girl when it comes to these things haha.
My freaking runtastic app and the gps didn't link up, but I did do the 13.1 haha!
I know now I am ready for this Women's Half Marathon and I also know that I am ready to take on more challenges with running from here on out. I will continue to challenge myself to be stronger, faster and better, if I can shave 5 minutes, next time I would shoot for 6 and then so on so forth. My long runs now tend to taper off a bit. I wont run the 13 miles again, but I think the next long run I do will be 8 miles, then I will do 10 or 11 then I taper off, after the first week in November, then just smaller runs.
Thanks for being apart of my journey also!!!