I woke up this morning full on excited for my long run today. My shoulder had a little muscle soreness that shook right out and after a little foam rolling, my legs felt recovered from yesterday’s front squats, burpees and thrusters. I headed out into weather that was a little warmer than expected, but the humidity was lower than my last two outings, which made me pretty happy. I planned a route that would take me out through the neighborhood then circle one subdivision before running around a golf course and finish taking two laps around the lake. Off I went.
The first three miles were great. My legs felt good, the weather was lovely and my pace was right where I wanted it to be. I headed back into the subdivision and took the same two-mile loop to the left I do each time I run there. Construction vehicles were everywhere as I rounded the second curve and there were two new houses going up, so not only did I have something exciting to look at, the new road I thought ought to join the main drag doesn’t yet. Dead end. No loop for me. I edged around the cul-de-sac, ran back past the construction, rejoined my regular route and stopped to pick a noisy, yet small, stone out of my shoe. Rock removal complete, I turned towards the golf course at mile 5.
My plan was to run a big circle around the course, but I hadn’t really studied the map other than sort of knowing the overall shape I should make. I headed straight back along the left edge of the course, down a road I’ve taken several times, to hit mile 6.5. This street turns into a dead end, so I took the first available right turn (thank you, map) and followed it on for another mile. Dead end (again, really?). I was apparently supposed to take one of the two streets I had passed on my right, but I was halfway through my outing and didn’t feel like going on an adventure. I ended up running a big semi-circle shaped out and back, but did pass a course restroom where I stopped at minute 70 not to drink any water, but to stick my head under the faucet. And it felt great. Water dripping from my visor, I continued retracing my steps and returned to my planned trajectory. I continued along the course’s edge before heading towards my stationary water bottle for a water stop at about mile 8.5.
Reaching my water at mile 10, I made a big mistake. I wasn’t particularly thirsty, but I had a little bit of dry mouth. I grabbed the liter size tankard and guzzled almost half of it without so much as blinking. Oops. With 40 minutes to go I had a stomach full of sloshing liquid that induced two stitches over the next ten minutes. I’m sure it wasn’t the water, more likely yesterday’s thrusters, but after this stop my quads starting complaining. By mile 11 they were flat out screaming. Begin mental beat down. As my angry quads and sloshy tummy started their two laps around the lake, I started to negotiate with myself. Drop my pace and keep it steady for the next 30 minutes or maintain pace through race distance, then drop it off a bit until minute 110 and use the last ten minutes of my run to just keep going.
Option B won. A little more hard work then an easy finish was just what I needed. I hit 13.12 miles in 1:45:24 (!) and was very happy with it. I was not happy I still had fifteen minutes and a lap of the lake to go, even if they were going to be ‘easy’. I had been struggling for twenty minutes already and my legs just wanted to give up. They kept moving by some miracle, but brought my pace down by almost 30 seconds per mile. I just about shuffled through minute 120 and couldn’t push the stop button on my watch fast enough. My run was good, but the way my legs felt left me seriously wondering why I had been so excited about it.
I beat last week by a quarter of a mile, which was nice since I slowed down so much after hitting 13.12 miles. I have speed work on the schedule for tomorrow or Sunday, then it’s Race Week! I have my last long training run Thursday and with a light week otherwise, my legs should feel much better for it than they did today, yay!
Have a great Labor Day Weekend 🙂