Today was a damn good running day. I once again skipped a scheduled 4.5 mile run on Thursday for no good reason, said I’d do it on Friday and then didn’t…so I needed to do my scheduled long run today no matter what. I was expecting it to be rough because I skipped last week’s long run due to illness, and the week before due to poor planning/laziness while I was at South by Southwest. So, my last long run was actually 20 days ago, on the treadmill. It was 5.5 miles—the longest I had run to date. I decided I’d shoot for 7 today, just like the schedule said.
I had a plan that wouldn’t allow me to wuss out. I told the local service center I’d drop my car off at 8:00 a.m. for an oil change and inspection, but they could get to it whenever they had a chance that day. I left the house just before 8:00 in my running clothes and took the car in. The service center is just about 3 miles from my house. So, I took the car in and ran a beautiful 4-mile out and back route around a nearby lake, and then headed towards home. The first four miles was gorgeous. The road was fairly flat (just a few small hills, and I was next to the lake the entire time. Some day I’d like to run all the way around the lake (no idea what that mileage would be).
When I emerged from the serene lakeside route, I had to cross a highway and run on a busy road for about 1.5 miles—straight into a 10-15 mph wind. Ugh! But I kept going, and was thankful for the dirt shoulder on the side of the road when it got narrow. I was just about 5 miles in when I turned into a residential area that would get me home, and I was hopeful that the wind wouldn’t be so bad. Not the case. For mile 5 I did a lot of walking/running as I felt defeated by the wind. Just after mile 6 my podcast ended (I listed to two fairly long podcasts during this run!), so I switched on my workout playlist. This was what I needed to bring me home. Fly, Magic, and Raise Your Glass made me keep moving, and my last mile ended up being my fastest, even with the wind! While I was running the last quarter mile I was very close to crying. I couldn’t believe I did this. Every long run from here is either one mile more than the the previous week, or a distance I’ve run before. I think it will bring me strong into the half marathon. I won’t be winning any awards, but I’ll finish proudly.
Now, some boring details. I fueled with raisins today. I took 40g (140 calories) with me, and consumed them at mile 2, 3.5, and 5, mimicking how the water sessions will be set up during my race. I didn’t carry water with me, but I plan to drink about 4 ounces at these stations. The raisins worked really well. They were sweet, sat well in my stomach, and didn’t really stay stuck in my teeth for more than a few seconds. They’re also super easy to carry. I’m going to try to keep using them along with a sports drink (my race will use Gatorade Perform, so I need to pick some up and train with it).
The little blisters I’ve been getting on the tips/top of my toes are worse after today’s run. I think I need to look into changing shoes. The Saucony Omni’s I’m wearing are fine until I hit about 4 miles, and then the blisters become more painful. I had put petroleum jelly on my toes prior to running, but that didn’t seem to work. I think I either need a bigger shoe or a style with a larger toe box. I’ll have to stop by the running store and see what they think. I’ll be due for a new pair right around race day anyway, so I’ll probably start wearing the new shoes on long runs and keep the Saucony’s around for short runs until they hit their mileage limit (I love that Nike+ tracks the mileage for my shoes).
(Linking up with Jess’s Marathon Mondays)