In my first running blog post, my "third goal" was to run with my step-dad. Now despite the fact that he's pushing 50 and regularly feels pain in places we didn't know existed, he still hauls ass!! A few weeks ago, he ran the Badgerland Striders Cudahy Classic 8K and placed second in his age division (M 40-49) with a time of 38:33 (7:43)...I think that's pretty freaking good!!
In any case, when I first started running, I figured it would be awhile before I'd run with him. Obviously he can slow it down for me, but I didn't want him practically tripping over his feet in an effort to slow down. Well with my own 8K race coming up, I figured it might be a good idea to try it. Perhaps David would speed me up a little. Meanwhile, he wanted to run the race himself, but to avoid injury, he needed someone a little slower to run with. It's a match made in heaven!
So Sunday afternoon, he met me at the apartment. This was my "long run" day and since I went 6.6 miles last week, I decided to up to to 7 miles. I know...7 miles running with a veteran?? Was I biting off more than I could chew?? Well I mapped out a 7 mile route, and we took off into the slightly mild temperatures, but HOT sun. Aaaaand how did it go??? Well basically it couldn't have gone any better!!! Right away I knew I was going faster than I typically do in the first couple miles. At first it made me nervous because of the length of the route...was I going to totally pass out like four miles in? Nope not at all! I just kept plugging away. I'll tell you that runs go SO MUCH FASTER when you're running WITH someone! Talk about a way to beat the long distance boredom! And it's not like we were talking or anything. We probably exchanged like three sentences total the whole way, not including "turn right here." But I guess maintaining your focus on the person next to you is enough distraction.
The two hotspots in the run were the two big hills I made sure to incorporate: one at mile 5 and one at mile 6.75 or so. So yeah, right at the end of course! I told David I needed to slow down to prepare for the first hill and that worked ok. And actually after the hill was over, I usually slow waaaaay down to recover, but because I was with David, I just pushed on. After the second hill, at the end of the route, I gave 'er hell, per usual, and sprinted the final 2 minutes (roughly four blocks or so). I think David was pretty surprised I had it in me!!
Ok enough of that...what about STATS?!? I love me some stats!! Well, when I recorded our time (1:07:10) into mapmyrun, turns out I did the 7.2 mile route averaging 9:18 min miles!!! That's WORLDS...WORLDS away from 10:10 min miles from last weekend's long run. So yeah, consider this girl very proud of herself!!! Meanwhile David ALSO said that this was one of his favorite runs! He said the pace was excellent and definitely a good way to avoid re-activating his injury. So basically, while he may not earn himself another awesome 8K time in the upcoming race, he'll be helping ME get a better time than I would by myself. Basically if I can run 7 miles at that pace, I can certainly do 5 miles at that pace!! Add in the energy and adrenaline of Race Day, and I could stand to get a really solid time! I'm so stoked now!!!
In other news, last night I did another "fartlek" type interval run. Only 2.2 miles again, but I did it in 18:28 instead of 20:00 like last week! That's a solid 8:30 min mile average!! I do believe that's my best time yet. Granted "only" for 2 miles, but still...I think all the varying in training is seriously helping me. I'm so glad I really buckled down in these past few weeks!
However, with that said, I noticed during my long run, and especially in my interval run yesterday, that my legs are feeling pretty rough. I could feel sharp pains in my right leg from my quad to my knee to my shin to my ankle to my big toe. It went away about 3 minutes in, but still, it's got me a little worried and I don't want to overdo it just two weeks before the 8K. So I'm going to see what happens on Thursday morning...whether I should do the 4 miler or not. On the one hand, more long distance will really prepare me for the 8K, but on the other hand, am I pushing it with these 6-7 mile runs? It's so hard to say.
OK END OF LONG ASS POST! I'm sure YOU could've run 7 miles in the time it took you to read this jeez!