This afternoon I officially ran the furthest and longest of my little running career thus far, with 8.18 miles in an hour and a half! (Up till now, my furthest/longest was 7.22mi in 1:07 back in Sept.) For some reason, I was really nervous about this run all day. I don't know why I was building it up in my head, as it really isn't all that long. Perhaps because it WAS the newest mileage "personal record" since Sept. But once I got out there, the nerves melted away and the run felt fab! I definitely decided to cut it waaaay back pace-wise. I've been doing my regular week runs averaging a 9:30 pace. Well, I Half-Marathon-Shuffled it up big time and it felt wonderful. Just so relaxing! And even knowing I'd probably be running at LEAST an hour and a half, it was really nice not paying attention to my watch too! The whole thing just made me love running that much more.
So most of the route consisted of the path right next to the lakefront in my neighborhood. A couple miles of it run right along this beach and I actually almost transferred myself on over there because the path was ridiculous. It started out ok, but the snow and ice just got worse and worse. It's a good thing I was down with going so slow because there's no way I could've scampered along that path any quicker, trying not to roll my freaking ankle!
At the halfway mark, I had run for about 48 minutes, so that obviously works out to 12 minute miles. This is most definitely the slowest I've ever run, and while it is hard swallowing my pride in that sense, I know its good for me. Half Marathon Day is one thing, maybe I'll bust it out, but training, I just really gotta take it easy.
While breathing was an absolute picnic the whole time, what hurt was various odd parts of my legs: my inside right groin area, my left outer hip area, and the bottoms of my feet. At about an hour into the run, I stopped cold to stretch out my hips because it was getting really uncomfy! That helped, as did the Espresso flavored Hammer Gel I tore into once I stopped! Oh my YUM!! I decided to try it after a blogger pal's positive thoughts...I've always heard mixed reviews about Gu and my stomach can get iffy on runs, so I wasn't sure where to start until she mentioned this stuff. Not only did it NOT do any weird stomach things, it was so easy to ingest. See, I already have trubs swallowing my own mucus on runs, I had no idea how I was going to swallow something even more viscous (that's what she said?) But afterward, it was almost like I didn't eat the gel at all...there was no weird aftertaste or throat-grossness! Plus it was just absolutely delish. I have a few other flavors as well, so I look forward to trying those!
The funny thing about the Hammer Gel, however, is the part where I tried to follow these directions to pin the package to my running tights. I did everything just fine except for where I rounded the edges. Well I must cut a teeeeny tiny hole in the corner because when I reached for the package on the inside of my tights, there was a nickel-sized glob of it that had oozed and attached to my skin and tights. CLAAAAASIC Katie. Luckily, since it was like 30 degrees out, it was virtually frozen there and not going to like smear all over the place or anything. And when I got home, I just ran super hot water over the spot in my tights and it melted away with ease. I tell ya.
The one thing I wish I had, and hope to have access to soon, is water. I really shouldn't be running over and hour without SOME kind of water. But I just don't have the money right now to spend on a Fuel Belt, and I just don't like carrying anything in my hands when I run. (Uh Katie, isn't discomfort better than dehydration? Hello!!) I'll figure it out. The hilarious thing is that I was dealing with a classic: "water, water everywhere, and not a drop to drink" scenario because snow is quite abundant, but all covered with droplets of God knows what. I could've stopped to dig into the four foot high snow banks for some fresh stuff, but I was over it. "I'll down a bunch when I get home," I thought to myself. Currently I'm almost through my 32oz bottle of water with more on the way. I figure it's not SO bad since I'm not sweating all the much.
Ok! So that's about it! I feel better about Week Five after this long run because I took it WAY too easy. Two 4 milers, yes, but barely ANY cross training and too much alcohol on Friday night ;) Tomorrow I'll try to write a shorter blog post (geez) about my NEW SHOES! I'm at 300mi plus on my current pair, but I'm really thinking I need to change it up with my leg pain and now foot-bottom pain I'm experiencing. Maybe I just wear shoes out faster, I don't know!