This was not a week for running.
I had good intentions. I really did. My first run was scheduled for Monday, but then Jonathan wanted to go see “The Hobbit”, so we did that instead. Tuesday was out because we were going to a Predators game. Wednesday was iMac Day. Running in the mornings is out because (a) I am so not a morning person and (b) I just started a new job and didn’t want to be late my first week.
Then I planned to run over my lunch break on Thursday, but I was running late in the morning and didn’t have time to get my stuff together. So, hello, run #1 of the week on Thursday evening. The thought of the treadmill really made me want to skip it, so I ended up strapping on my reflective gear and doing my run outside on the road since the weather was pretty nice. But, WOW. My legs felt like lead. It was all I could do to make it thirty minutes, and I only got 2.2 miles in that time.
Disgruntled, I was determined to have a better run on Friday, but I ended up not running. Nor did I run on Saturday. Ah, such good intentions. Unfortunately, good intentions don’t make you stronger.
I did, however, get in my long run on Sunday. Long run, indeed. I’m in the double digits, people! It was the perfect weather for running. Sixty degrees and cloudy. Perfection. I headed out in my Lululemon running skirt, a tank, my water vest, and I stuck some arm warmers on for the beginning of the run. My plan for the run was doing 1:30 run/walk intervals. I will admit, despite the amazing weather and the small intervals, I was not having a good run at first. I had all the demons in my head, saying stuff like, “Ugh, it’s only been a mile? I feel like I’ve been running forever. And I’ve got nine more miles of this??” Once I got to 2.5 miles in, it was a little better. At least I could tell myself that I was a quarter done. Then a third done. I had taken off my arm warmers by this point and strapped them onto my water vest. For the first three miles, I averaged around a 13:15 min/mi.
About 5 km in, I got to the point on the greenway that I had never gone past before. This point is at the bottom of an enormous hill. I was on a walk interval as I started up it, but my run interval started and carried me through the top. This thing is like a quarter mile of 10% grade. It’s awful and it contributed to my slowest mile of the run, at 14:22 min/mi. But I made it! After that, I ran past Mcgavock High School, through Two Rivers Park, past Wave Country, under Briley Parkway, and finally I made it to the bridge that carries you over the river and down into Shelby Park. This was my turn around spot, a little over five miles in. I took a snapshot, turned around, and headed back.
I was actually feeling pretty good by this point. My fastest miles of the run were miles 5 and 6, coming in around 12:20 min/mi each. Towards the end of mile 6, I realized that one of my arm warmers that I had strapped to my vest was missing. I hoped that I had dropped it earlier rather than later, so I kept an eye out for it on the rest of the run. Around mile 7, my knees started hurting again, just like the week before! What IS that? It’s not enough that my hip hurts?
Just after mile 7, I got to run down that enormous hill, which was pretty fun. I think I averaged around an 8 min mile down that thing, and came in on mile 8 at 12:24. At 8.75 miles, I found my lost arm warmer! I secured it to my vest again and continued on.
I still don’t think I’ve ever experienced the so-called “runner’s high” but I did get to a point around mile 8 or 9 where my legs just got numb, so it felt like I could just run. I still stuck to my intervals, for the most part, because I wanted to make sure I could finish 10 miles without dying, but I thought that was interesting. They just hurt so much that I could really no longer feel them. I ended up completing 10.1 miles in 2 hours and 13 minutes. Whew! Just three more miles to the half marathon!
When I got home, I drew my first ice bath. I always thought those things sounded terrible, and, yes, it was just as sucky as you would imagine. I didn’t think I could sit there for ten full minutes. My legs enjoyed it, but my feet were just freezing. My feet hate being cold. After my ten minutes were up, it took a good hour or two for me to stop shivering. I’m still pretty sore as I type this five hours later, but we will see if it will help in the days to come.