Just an FYI before I begin: This run happened yesterday, not today.
It's kind of hard to be marathon training when none of your friends are. I admit I've been having nightmares about making it into double digit long runs because I have feared being ALONE. I know that's wimpy and so many of you are probably out there training all alone. I've just become so spoiled and I love running with my friends. It might take a little creativity to do as few solo miles as possible, but I pieced together this run very nicely.
I met Bianca, Chrystal and Shannon at Bianca's house at 6:00 am. Bianca is recovering from an injury and a subsequent 4 week running hiatus, so she's coming back to running slowly. Shannon just got back from vacation and a 2 week absence from running, and Chrystal... hmmmm hey Chrystal why didn't you want to run 15 miles with me? Haha The point is the girls were only planning on running 6 miles.
I hate running beginning at Bianca's house and do everything possible to avoid it. You see if you start at Bianca's you have to run the BIG HILL. I don't love it!
But if I wanted to have running partners, I had to meet to do the hill. At least it's at the beginning. It's probably just a quarter of a mile from Bianca's front door. Better than meeting it at mile 10 or something.
I knew the hill was going to be slow, but I tried to talk myself out of it being a big deal. I mean it's just a hill right? Bianca put on a Katy Perry song and we all rocked out and got our running groove on. I even thought, "hey this isn't too bad." Then I realized I was only about 1/4 of the way up it. At that point I really started to labor and just kept telling myself to put one foot in front of the other.
After the big hill there was one small one, and then it was smooth (flat) sailing.
Mile 1: 11:22 darn hill
I have to admit going into this run I was really scared. I had a really bad long run last week, and I was afraid I was going to be met with the same fate this week. My legs were (and still are) pretty sore. I just was afraid my body wasn't going to hold up and I would suffer. I told the girls that I really needed to go slowly and pace myself for 15 miles. I was shooting for a 10:30 overall pace today.
After getting my breath back from the hill, I actually started to feel pretty good. I allowed myself at this point to believe things wouldn't be so bad.
Mile 3: 10:43
At the 3 mile mark I had to say goodbye to Bianca, Chrystal and Shannon.
Never fear my friends because Mary had agreed to meet me for the next 10 miles. It seemed kind of win, win to me. Mary got to sleep an extra half hour and I got to have friends with me at almost all points of this run.
I told Mary of my goal to run a little slower and hopefully just make it through this run. She's gracious enough to run my pace and not complain. Mary and I always have plenty of things to talk about so the next few miles until the turn around just flew by.
Mile 4: 11:03
Mile 5: 10:46---> Took a Gu
Mile 6: 10:33
Mile 7: 10:20
We turned around at the 7.5 mile mark (4.5 miles for Mary) and started heading back. I thought to myself that it seemed like I should be more than half way through and fear started to creep its way into my head. I wasn't feeling too bad as far as pain, but I did feel tired.
I also was in conserve water mode. I carry a water belt with two 8 ounce bottles, but I was almost out of water at the 9 mile mark. I drink a lot of water while running. I'm not sure why I require so much, but I do. I'm not going to deprive my body of something that it needs so I carry water even though it's kind of annoying.
We were coming up on a Walgreens at the 10 mile mark and Mary agreed to stop there so I could fill up my bottles. So I drank down all the water I had left and felt a tad better.
Mile 8: 10:16
Mile 9: 10:24
We arrived at the Walgreens at about 7:55. Guess what? They don't open until 8:00. Mary told me we could wait, but 5 minutes of standing around just didn't seem like a good idea to me. Mary offered me the last gulp of water that she had in her bottle and we carried on. Luckily Mary had "stashed" a full water bottle at the entrance to our housing development (what would be mile 12). She was sweet enough to think of me and brought the extra bottle for that purpose. I was so, so thankful. I just had to make it 2 miles with no water.
Mile 10: 10:25
Mile 11: 10:28 ----> 2nd Gu
I was never so happy to see water in my life. I drank a huge gulp and it was actually still a little cold. Mary drank a few sips too and then gave me the rest to fill up my bottles (she's so sweet). I was supposed to say goodbye to Mary at this point, but she agreed to run another quarter mile with me because it was UPHILL (you know my favorite).
It was so nice of Mary to get me up the hill. Having her by my side, was the boost I needed to tackle another hill. Now don't get me wrong, it's nowhere near as steep as the first hill I did, but it's still killer. It's especially killer at mile 12.
Mile 12: 10:34
Once I got to the top, I had to say goodbye to Mary as she turned back to go home and I headed back to Bianca's for my car.
So here I was 12 miles into my run. It was just me and my shadow. The sun was beating down and it was really getting hot. With just 3 miles to go, I told myself to suck it up and just get it done.
I popped in my earphones and decided to just pound it out as quickly as my legs would let me at this point (which wasn't too fast). Nevertheless, I did finish and without an incredible amount of pain. Now don't get me wrong. My body felt pounded and I was definitely sore, but this run was FAR better than the 12 miles I did last week.
Mile 13: 11:17
Mile 14: 11:16
Mile 15: 11:19 Clearly it was Mary that was keeping me going at a quicker pace.
As soon as I stopped I knew my body was in trouble. I came right home and foam rolled for about 15 to 20 minutes. It hurt, but I kept telling myself it would be worth it.
Because my body has been so out of whack, I decided I should probably ice as well. So I decided to do an ice bath. Not my favorite thing to do, but hopefully worth it.
Yes I kept my clothes on. I know better than to bare ass it. I also kept on my socks (and eventually wrapped them in a towel) because my feet actually hurt from the cold.
Come on Susan, you can do it. Just sit down.
Um yeah, that's cold!
I sat and chilled (literally) for about 15 minutes and then called it quits.
I was pretty sore (ok a LOT sore) for most of the day, but today I feel so much better. I'm glad I iced and rolled, because I'm convinced it made a big difference.
I only have 5 more 15 plus mile runs to go in my training. I can do this! Right?
Thanks to my friends for running slowly with me.
You all mean so much to me and I know I couldn't do it without you!!!