Yesterday I did something I have not done in over a year—I ran more than 7 miles in one run. I went out for an 8 mile run and ended up with 9.5 miles under me.
I can’t believe that it has been so long since I have had a good long run. I hurt my foot in marathon training last year and had to back off considerably from the long miles. Since then I have never built up my distance again. Because I want to complete my 5th consecutive running of the Phedippidations World Wide Festival of Races Half Marathon I knew I needed to get a long run in to test the waters for a 13.1 mile run. Yesterday was the day, though I should have done it earlier.
I mapped out an 8+ mile course which took me into new territory that I had not seen in my neighborhood. I actually ended up running completely around the town next to us (City Bell).
I decided on a run/walk. Usually when I do this I try to cover a mile and then walk a minute. Since I didn’t know where my miles would end, I just ran 10 minutes and walked a minute. Then after that I walked for a minute when I got to minutes 20, 30, 40 etc.
During the run I listened to As the World Cheers (MP3 file). This was the 2010 “Shouts of Encouragement” episode from Steve Runner. He puts one of these together every year to allow his listeners to shout encouragement to the other runners in the group. This year’s episode was really cool since he, and some fellow runners, put together a song. In it he gave a hat tip to those running at the River Plate. I am the only one registered from the Argentina/Uruguay/Paraguay section where Rio de la Plata (what we call it down here) runs. That was pretty cool to hear.
When I got to within a mile of my house I was feeling really good and strongly considered just knocking out the half marathon all at once. I did end up running around the park once, which added 1.4 miles to my run, but I did not do the extra 5 miles I needed to finish up the distance. By not doing it all yesterday I am forcing myself to get out there and do another long run this week to get my half marathon completed.
NOTE: I don’t recommend going from 4 and 5 mile runs to a 13.1 mile run. It is probably not too wise to jump up to a 9.5 mile run. Doing the run/walk helps considerably. Knowing how to fuel properly for a run of that distance is also a big factor in being able to do that type of run without worrying about injury. And, finally, I certainly wasn’t going very fast. I never felt like I was pushing myself too hard. Just a casual run around town.
Now to get the legs rested up for a casual half marathon next week (though this weekend was race weekend, the actual date is a bit flexible). I have no time goal other than to complete it in less than my 3.5 hour crawl last year.