10 and 11.
Time to recap my better-than-ever 10 and 11 mile runs. Then we can move on to bigger and better things!
After my CRAPTASTIC 9 miler, I knew I had to make a few changes before tackling 10 and 11 miles over the next two weeks. Mostly, that meant drinking a WHOLE lot more water, and treating those long runs with the respect they deserve. For me, running more than about 8 miles at a time is no joke, and I need to treat it as such.
So the 10 miler…
The first step I took in ensuring this run’s success was to run a brand new route. I think I was getting into a rut with my neighborhood, and needed to find a new place to keep things fresh. Yes, I cheated on my neighborhood, and I don’t even feel bad.
I also wore my fuel belt, despite the fact that it was only 53-ish degrees and SUPER windy.
Once again, these splits don’t lie. Mile 10 was actually my fastest mile, so I know I was doing something right. I felt pretty strong the entire time, but my legs did start to feel a little heavy around mile 8. I ran head first into the wind throughout much of miles 3 and 4, so I’m happy with those times. I also did this entire run music free.
Moving on to yesterday’s 11 miler. Since my 10 was pretty strong, I figured I could knock this one out of the park as well. What’s one more mile?! I decided to tackle this run on Sunday, instead of Saturday, since my half marathon in 2 weeks will take place on a Sunday morning. I PLANNED to wake up at the crack of dawn to mimic the race (and just get it over with), but my darling husband stayed out until 1:30am and I just couldn’t sleep. He said he’d walk home from the bar (like a 2 mile walk!) and I just got too worried. So I stayed up and picked his crazy butt up. Needless to say, I didn’t even bother setting an alarm and didn’t end up hitting the road until about 1:30pm (had to catch up on the Top Chef Finale…priorities!!).
Once again I planned this run around an entirely new route. However, of course, as soon as I parked my car the heavens opened up with a really random sleet downpour. Thankfully it passed by pretty quickly and I was able to get started. I tried to keep things steady and easy for the entire first half of the run, and then aimed to pick it up a bit on tired legs.
I felt strong for most of the run, but when mile 8 hit I started to feel it in my legs. They were just so heavy! One MAJOR change for me during this run was that I vowed to take ZERO walking/drinking breaks. Brian suggested that I try to just RUN the entire thing. Usually during my long runs I’ll pause for a minute or so to stretch and refuel. I’m not a very talented drinker-while-running, so I feel the need to stop so I don’t spill all over myself. Well, apparently this is a bad thing. I mean duh. Every second counts in a real race, and if I want to get a SUB 2, I won’t be able to stop. I’m pretty sure in my last half marathon I stopped 3-4 times (once to remove a layer and hand it off), so several of my mile were over 10 minutes.
But not this time. I did this run completely stop-free (minus a few pauses at intersections) and was even able to drink while running. Mind over matter.
My legs were killing me the last 2 miles, but I pushed through. I’m really, really happy with this run.
I’ve been reading online that my long runs should be done somewhere between 45 seconds and 1:15 slower than my race pace. So does that mean I should be able to race at a sub 9:00 pace?! It seems crazy to me. But it also seems crazy to me to think that I could run a whole half marathon a whole minute per mile faster than I ever trained for a long run?! I just don’t get it. I guess I’ll find out at the finish line in 2 weeks!!