This was week was definitely a redeeming week after my rough long run last Saturday. Although I only ran three days this week (I really wish I could have run more) but according to my training that’s all I was supposed to do.
I started off the week on Monday with a tempo run at my local track. It was a risky move since the sun was boiling down on the track raising the temperatures above 90 degrees, but besides sweating my butt off it was a good run. I ran 400-meter intervals for 2.14 miles. my average pace was 9:21 per mile and my fastest pace was 6:57 per mile. Considering the heat I thought this was pretty good!
On Tuesday I woke up early to do some power yoga before getting ready for work. It was just one of the Lululemon YouTube videos but it was definitely good for some strengthening. I couldn’t run after work unfortunately because I had to cover a meeting that went until 10 p.m. But work has to come first.
Wednesday I braved a torrential downpour to meet my cousin, who is also running the half-marathon with me, at the gym. She had to do her tempo run for the week and I decided to do a quick 2-mile run. After my run we moved over to the conditioning area and did some weight-lifting, ab work and of course stretches.
On Thursday, my training program called for more yoga so I did another strengthening class. It was great and I can tell it’s been helping my breathing while I run. I gave myself a 100 percent rest day on Friday because my long run on Saturday was definitely going to be intense.
So here it was, my long run- 12 miles. I have to admit I was really excited because I knew my training thus far has prepared me for this run and I was ready. I had never run 12 miles before and the route was going to be hilly but I couldn’t wait to tackle it. I woke up at 7:30 a.m. to get ready before the run. I had a cup of coffee and a bunch of water and headed out. My cousin and I mapped out the run on Map My Run so we knew the route would work out to 12 miles.
The run was absolutely beautiful! I wish I had a camera to capture the breathtaking views we had along the ocean, through the harbor and by the lighthouse in York, Maine. It was awe-inspiring. These amazing views also helped me to keep going along the run, especially when my legs began to feel heavy around mile 8. I also may have experienced some dehydration especially at mile 7 when I really started to feel thirsty. My cousin never drinks water along runs but I really need it. We still had about a mile to go before we would reach a water fountain so I just pushed myself to that point.
Once we got water and I stretched out my legs a bit, I felt great and ready to go. We only lost a few minutes for our stop but this was good because the hardest part of the run was still ahead of us. During the last 4 miles, we had ascents of 165 feet and descents of 195 feet. This was hard on my quads and my knees but I made it through. However, my cousin got about 5 minutes ahead of me which started to get me down a bit but I reminded myself that this was for me and the only competition should be against myself.
After the hills the last two miles were an absolute breeze! I was definitely in the zone because I ran these last two miles faster than any of the other miles. In fact, when I got home I realized I ran a negative split! I was excited about this because I had never run a negative split and this is going to be really good for my half-marathon.
In the end I ran the 12 miles in 2:00 flat (minus a few minutes for water and stretching). This was very exciting because my goal is 2:30:00 for the full half-marathon so I think I’m in pretty good shape! I still have just over two months to go until the race but now I can focus on increasing mileage and speed. I learned a lot this week though. I need to fix my hydration situation and I need to focus on my own goals and not be intimidated by other faster runners around me. Remember, a training run is not a race! Happy running!