Saturday, March 3, 2012

The Long Run

I thought about taking today off from running.  My general schedule has me running every other day and swimming on the days in between.  Yesterday I swam a full mile and at a fairly good pace (lately I've been satisfied with half mile swims), so I thought I might take the whole weekend off.  Two things changed my mind, though.

1) I want to run at least three days a week.  If I took today off, I would have only run twice this week.

2) Hans and I are visiting his grandma in NC.  Visiting family often means eating out, and eating out often means eating too much.  Last night I had a much bigger dinner than I'd planned, and I wanted to work it off.

Since I had decided to run (luckily I'd taken my running clothes just in case) I figured I'd make this my long run.  My previous runs had been in the 3 mile range (5k), and I wanted to make it a little higher.  I figured, if I could, I'd run 7 km.  First, though, I had to find a place to run.

God bless the internet, because it didn't take me long to find a greenway nearby that looked long enough for me to get a decent run in without having to loop around 3 times.  With a little help from Gan and Hans, I had an easy route and a place to park.  So, I put a collar on Cody, grabbed a poop bag just in case, and off I went.

I didn't worry about pace.  All I wanted was to go a fair distance.  The run started quite well, and I was feeling good.  The route was very quiet, much quieter than I'm used to, and it took a lot of getting used to.  It didn't take long for me to get a little paranoid, waiting for something to pop out from around a corner and attack, and my breathing suffered.  Somewhere between the 3rd and 4th kilometer I started to feel awful.  My legs felt week, breathing was hard, and everything ached.  This was definitely not good since this wasn't even my normal distance, much less my long distance.  I decided to turn around and start heading back.

I think two things happened at this point.  First, I had already seen everything on the return trip, so I was less nervous.  Second, I finally realized that Cody was with me, and no one was going to bother me with him around.  I started to find my stride, and things stopped hurting as much.

By the end of my run, I looked at my watch.  I was hoping / expecting to have made it at least 7 km.  Imagine my surprise, though, when I saw that I'd gone 7.70 km!!!  That works out to 4.79 miles. I was oh so close to 8 km, and part of me wishes I had just run a little farther, but I was tired and it was time to end the run.  My pace wasn't my best, but it also wasn't my worst.  I'm not too far off from my goal pace.

I'm really hopeful now.  Distance-wise, I only need another 2.3 km.  Time-wise, I need to shave off 5 minutes.  I have 4 weeks to train.  I think I'm going to make it!


  1. You will make it, don't worry! Most of the time, when we think we can't go on any further, it's all in our minds; our bodies are capable of more than we think. Other times, if something is legitimately hurting, then you really do need to listen to what your body's telling you. Good luck!

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