On Sunday, I finally got out to do my Long Run on the Prairie Path. It was 3pm on a windy, sunny, 62F day so it just couldn't be passed up! I had wanted to run earlier in the day but ended up going to lunch with friends I hadn't seen in over 5 years. So after eating with them, I had to wait for my meal to digest.
The warm weather was amazing! I got to wear shorts, a long-sleeved shirt, and a vest. Spring was definitely in the air! And there were a ton of others out as well: bikers, runners, walkers, individuals and families, you name it. It was cool running amongst all the people out to enjoy the day.
At the start, I was maintaining an 11:00/mm pace without much difficulty. I was listening to my music and really taking in the sights. At about 5.5 miles down the path, there is a Dairy Queen. It has been closed since late Fall but NOT now! When I reached it, the place was hopping with customers! A clear indication that Spring is here! But since I had 7 more miles to run, I decided not to partake in any DQ goodness (besides, I had no money with me). I am going to have to start bringing cash with me! LOL
So onward I went. The last four miles were tougher. My heart rate was a little higher, my left knee was getting twingey, and my feet were starting to get sore. It also seemed like I was having some mild asthma symptoms (I had asthma as a child). So I slowed down a bit to about a 12:30/mm pace and kept moving until reaching my starting point (I ran that last 1/2 mile at a 10:45/mm pace just due to the excitement of being done soon).
When all was said and done, I put in 12.26 miles at an average 11:56/mm pace. Very acceptable as runs go for my Long Slow Run. I wonder about the asthma though. This happened to me twice before, and both times it was during a run through wooded/gassy areas. I hope my asthma does not return; I haven't experienced symptoms in 20 years.
After the run, as I drove home to shower and eat, I downed a banana, some Muscle Milk, and a bottle of PowerAde. Unfortunately, my evening was going to be very busy so I wasn't going to have time to rest, stretch, and foam roll. So what little stretching I did before getting in the car was all I was going to get.
I worked all night at my son's middle school, helping to set up the sound systems and sets for the musical "Grease" that opens this Friday. I am running the Sound Board for the show. My feet, legs, hips, and knee were sore but I worked hard for 7 hours. It was a long night, ending for me at 2:30am. By the time my head hit the pillow, everything hurt. I was too tired and sore to get up to get some Advil, so I just laid there until I fell asleep.
I woke up Monday morning feeling a lot better, still a little sore but not too bad. So my advice today is: don't plan a 12 mile run and then do tech crew work for 7 hours afterwards! The best thing I can say is at least it was a great cross-training activity! LOL
As I worked today, I started having nagging doubts about my running goals -- especially around the Fall Marathon and the Disney Goofy. My intellectual side tells me I can achieve these goals -- I just have to be determined, smart, and train well. I mean, look at how far I have come in a year's time. But my emotional side is asking all kinds of questions. How my feet will survive 26.2 if they hurt at 12.26? What if my knees start hurting? Do I have the mental toughness? Am I going to be able to finish 39.3 miles?
I wasn't feeling all that 'strong' today, so the questions kept coming. All I could tell myself in response is that I have to trust in my training plans, stay healthy, and rely on my friends who have already done this for their advice and support. I can do it! Believing is half the battle, mentally.
I am not going to let doubt deter me from my goals. I will use it to fuel my determination to develop the best, reasonable training plan I can and then follow it. LifeTime Fitness has a Marathon Training program and they have an informational meeting about it on March 21st. I am going to listen to what they are offering and see if it might be a good fit for me. I am going to take positive steps to ensure my success!
I encourage you to do the same! Decide to be better. Decide to live actively. Decide to eat and live healthier. Then take your first positive step forward, and keep that momentum moving. We'll all make it!