Respect the Distance
It has run through my mind countless times as I have prepared for runs and as I have completed those runs. I have tried never to lose sight of the fact that 10+ miles is a long way. Anything can happen in a split second to turn a great run into a horrible, miserable run.
This morning I attempted something I have never done before and I was nervous. I was afraid of what would happen and if I would finish feeling good.
This morning I attempted to run the longest distance I have ever run in my life. And it was awesome!
15.66 miles in 2:11:22 with the last 4 miles at HMP (~7:45 pace)
I left my house before the sun was even up and met the running group for the long run. It was a chilly 35F and I still had to wear my winter running clothes. I wrote out directions, just in case I forgot the route so I wouldn't get lost. I brought my phone and gloves and all the other essentials including some gels. At promptly 6:30am we were off. The first few miles ticked by easily and it was a beautifully quiet morning.
As I neared the 7th mile, I was joined by my running teammate. We continued on together, enjoying the run and the gorgeous morning. As we neared the 11.5 mile mark, I wasn't sure how those last 4 miles were going to go, but I just tried to remember to take it one step at a time and respect the distance.
It was tough and painful over those 4 miles at half marathon pace but having my friend and teammate there helped to keep me going. We managed to average a pretty even 7:47 pace for the whole 4 miles which was amazing considering I already had 11 miles on my legs. I was just so happy to finish my last long run of this training cycle on a good note and head into taper feeling strong and confident.
After the run I took an ice bath with no ice, just cold water and I think it really helped to make my legs less sore...at least so far. The true test will be to see how I feel tomorrow!