Story Time

Hello and happy Monday, beautiful humans!

I just got back from taking my history final. I have a presentation tomorrow and then I am DONE with my senior year of college. *cue deer in the headlights look*

But that’s not what I want to talk about today.

Today I want to talk about Saturday, when I ran 13.1 miles in 1:59:23.

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But first, a little back story.

I have never run an official half-marathon, meaning a race. But at the end of the summer, I ran one on my own back in Boise. I ran it on the Greenbelt, which is a very flat path (and you’ll be seeing quite a few pictures of it once I move!) and my mom gave me some mid-run fuel. I finished it in 2 hours and 11 minutes and that last mile was a real struggle. To call what I was doing running is generous: it was more like a jog-shuffle.

My training plan for last week called for 13 miles on Saturday. I decided I was not going to run 13 miles and not run that last 0.1 because I wanted to know what I could do.

Okay, so here we go.

My alarm went off at 6:40. I got up and made a mini bagel. While it was toasting, I did some sun salutations which I highly recommend. They helped my body wake up. I put almond butter on one side of the bagel and raspberry preserves on the other. It was delicious.

I finished getting ready and left my apartment at about 7:30. It was misting for most of the run but it wasn’t too bad. The wind made it much colder.

The first 1-4 miles were pretty good. There was a long hill between miles 3 and 4 but it was gradual so I could get into a groove. Then I ran down through the New Arboretum. Emphasis on down. I got to the bottom and had to run uphill one some pretty steep inclines. This was the first time I used a mantra: Hard is not impossible.

After that, I had a nice long downhill and then I was running on a flat path. I turned around at mile 9 and suddenly was running into a headwind that was so cold my hands went numb. I kept telling myself Run this mile. Don’t think about the next one. And it worked.

I made sure to stretch my hips out at the stop lights and it really helped. Every once in a while, they would hurt but the pain always went away.

I didn’t look at my watch when it buzzed for 12 miles.

I didn’t look at my watch until I was less than half a mile from the end. And I saw 1:53:00 and thought, You can make it in under two hours. 

The last 0.3 of a mile were on a straight road leading to my apartment and I was flying down the street. My watch buzzed. 13 miles. Look down. 1:58:54. I can run 0.1 in less than a minute.

I was right.

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My goal during my long runs is to stay around 9:20/mile because I think that’s a good pace for the marathon. I don’t know if that’s right or wrong but that’s the best I can plan. I kept telling myself to slow down because I kept seeing sub-9 miles and I had so much farther to go. I kept expecting to feel like I was dying from going out so fast but I didn’t.

(Side-note: can you guess which miles had the big hills in them? Answer: Miles 4, 6, 12.)

As you can see, I have no ability to keep my pace consistent and I was definitely slowing down in the later miles. But then my fastest mile was mile 13 and I ran the last 0.1 at 6:39/mile. So I clearly had more left in the tank than I thought I did at mile 10.

Why am I spending an entire post on one run when it wasn’t even a race?

Because this is the first run that has made me believe, really believe, that I can run a marathon. It’s the first run that made me believe my training is paying off because I shaved eleven minutes off my time.

This was the run I needed, after my hip flaring up two weeks ago and being sick and too many runs where my lungs hurt or my legs felt like lead. I needed this run to believe in myself.

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If you made it this far, thank you! I appreciate it and you so very much.

Until next time

Elizabeth

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