Let me just say that 8 miles is a long way to run. You are in it for the long haul, both in time and distance. It's a mental commitment, right from the start - you need to dig deep and keep going. I'm really proud to report that we completed our first 8 mile run and not only lived to tell the tale, but consider it to be the best long run Jeff and I have done together, so far. Aches and pains aside, after this run I could actually visualize myself completing our upcoming half marathons with enjoyment.
The plan for the run was to start off slow and then taper off...nah, that's a joke in the running world. We were going to take this run nice and easy, but try to keep running the entire time - slowing down if we needed to, but otherwise, keep moving at a steady pace. And, we did just that - I even managed, for the first time ever, to run the entire distance up Boonville Hill, which is a steady, gradual incline that just seems to go on forever - 1.5 miles in reality - but it feels like it's never going to end.
The weather contributed to the pleasant run - it was barely 70 degrees when we started. The first three miles went so well that I was surprised to see the water station appear so quickly - normally I'm looking for it, because I know we'll get a few minutes break as we refill our water bottles, take a GU, and regroup. We did a quick stop for water and GU, and then set off up Boonville Hill. At mile 4, when we normally would have stopped for a quick water break, I told Jeff that I wanted to keep going - who am I?!? We made it to the top, then crossed the street where we got to run on a downhill slope for about 1.5 miles - ahhhhh. Turned and ran through the scary statue park, although we didn't run on the path were the statues are. The only rough part was after that park - the road we ran on was torn up from construction, and I felt every lump and bump right through my shoes on the bottom of my feet (I wondered if that was just due to my super-lightweight shoes, but in talking to other people in our group afterward, everyone felt the road at that spot). Then we made our final turn for the last 3/4 of a mile toward the home stretch - whew!
For runner Shelley v2.0, this time is slow. When I ran 8 miles back in December 2010, my average pace was 11:39. This time, it was 13:45. Now, it was quite a bit warmer, but still...I'm not the same runner that I was, and I have to work really hard at not making comparisons. My goal for this entire running season is to make it to the end, uninjured, and to run every race that I've signed up for. Even with the ankle/foot issues that I'm experiencing, I feel pretty good about how I've done so far.
Please note not only my 8 fingers for 8 miles, but also the cute running shirt that Jeff brought back for me from Alaska - what a great souvenir!
I was BEAT after this run and just felt done in for hours. When we came home from breakfast, I spent a couple hours napping off and on, and playing Words With Friends on my iPad, while Paco and Henry kept me company Notice how they are separated by my legs - sworn enemies, who both wanted to be close to me, yet not to each other. Oh the dilemma!
My ankle and foot are feeling a bit better. I rested on Monday, and ran 2 easy slow miles on Tuesday with Jenny. Still doing the whole ice/Motrin thing, with compression socks thrown in for good measure - I'm hoping that the pain will continue to ease up, and this week will just end up being a blip on my road to the half marathons.