I accomplished something today that I thought I never would. I pushed myself mentally when I felt like quitting, and I pushed myself physically when I thought my legs were going to give out. Today I ran 10 miles!
I’ve never done a double digit mile run before, and I wasn’t planning on it this morning when I woke up for my weekly long run. My training plan called for a 10k race (or pseudo race) but I felt like I should just keep going with this thing I’ve been doing where I increase my long runs every week by 1 mile. I was all set today to do 9 miles. So I got up, ate my breakfast, hydrated, and was off.
Boston is an amazing city to live in if you’re a runner – you never feel like you’re alone running out there. Where I live, I’m about 2 blocks away from the Boston Marathon course. Every weekend, you can’t go anywhere in my neighborhood without coming across someone running. Training groups are constantly training in my neighborhood, flying by in groups of 20 as they down their Gu’s and gatorade. Today as I was running down Beacon St. I saw a sign that said “Runners rest stop – water, bathroom, Gu’s” on the sidewalk – it was a running association shop. How cool is that!? I love the support in Boston for runners. I always seem to get high fives, cheers, or words of encouragement from passers by.
That encouragement definitely helped me today during my run. I started out by doing a few loops of the Cleveland Circle Reservoir. I’ve been having a little pain in the outside of my knee which I think is associated with my tight hips and IT band. I thought it would be smart to do at least half of my run on the trail instead of the concrete sidewalks. After 4 miles, I broke off and headed toward Boston College and then back towards the city. At mile 5 1/2 I ate my gu and felt instantly better. I think taking the gu before I really need it (usually happens at mile 6) is the key. This whole fueling thing is such trial and error! Then I made it back to Cleveland Circle with about 1 mile to go. I decided to just go with it – I was feeling really great – and went all the way to Coolidge Corner, and then looped back. By the time I got to the street I usually stop at, I was at mile 9 1/2. There was no way I was stopping there, so I ran a little bit more to make it an even 10 miles. I was so excited when my Garmin beeped for my last lap. 10 miles?! Who runs 10 miles?! Not this guy! But I guess I do now!
Overall, I felt fantastic. My knee didn’t hurt at all (it hasn’t been hurting while running, it’s just tender to the touch in that area) and my hips felt loose. My goal for this run was to go slower! I’ve been running my long runs at marathon pace and was not recovering well. I know that long runs need to be run at 30 seconds to a minute slower than goal pace. I kept a 9:15 – 9:30 mile pace for a while and I’m happy with those consistent splits. Mile 9 was slow because I was going up hill the whole time and had a wicked head wind.
I’m in shock that I did that and I feel fantastic! My body already feels better than it did last week. I’m starting to get really jazzed about this race – I finally am starting to feel prepared. Now I’m off to spend the rest of the day chilling out with Bernie. We’re making a really yummy dinner tonight – a hint: it involves Bison meat!
Readers: Have you ever pushed yourself mentally and physically to accomplished your goals? Explain. How have you spent your weekend?