Yeah, I know. It's Thursday, and I'm just now writing about last Saturday's run...but I've spent most of the week trying not to think about just how bad it was. And, I've had a really hard time putting the experience into words. Combine the two, and, well...
17 miles (technically 16.8). It was right there on the schedule, looming ominously on the horizon all of last week. Looking back, I know I didn't go into Saturday morning with the right outlook. Instead of a can-do attitude, I had some serious fears and doubts about being able to complete the distance - after all, it would be the furthest I'd ever run, and I'd missed the 15-miler two weeks ago. Super bad move on my part. How many times have I said that it's all about the attitude?!?!
So I'll just say it. The 16.8 miles ended up being a 10.5 mile run and a 6.3 mile walk with some sporadic running thrown in there. Yikes.
The weather was harsh - after only a couple miles, we all knew it wasn't going to be a great run. Even though we'd been taking it really slow and had made numerous extended walk breaks, after 10 miles, I was really huffing and puffing. My legs were feeling ok, but I just felt miserable and was really wanting to stop running and start the walk breaks early on almost every interval. I knew that if I had any hope of getting in the total miles, I needed a longer break. So I talked to our PGLs (Pace Group Leaders) and told them to go on without me - I was going to walk for a while.
A rough very early morning quickly turned into a brutal morning. The sun beating down on the (mostly) unshaded lake loop certainly did not help matters and drained what remaining energy and motivation I had. Although I had intended to start doing intervals again at some point after walking, I ended up continuing to walk, and intermittently ran when I felt up to it, the whole way back. I dragged my butt into the parking lot just as everyone else was leaving.
So, after rehashing all the bad stuff that went wrong on Saturday morning, I can also report a few positive things:
- I did 16.8 miles!!!!!!!!!! Furthest distance ever for me! Even my amazing runner friend M commented that that's further than he's ever gone. Big accomplishment!
- After reviewing the data, I went 16.8 miles in 4:26. That means in January I would have 2:34 to cover the remaining 9.4 miles - I'm pretty sure I could do that. Huge confidence boost!
- Reached a decision that for any of the truly long runs (anything over 10 miles), I need to step back and run with the next slower group down in my Galloway Group. The 2:1 intervals were a big step up for me when I started running with the group in May, and it's still pushing it a bit. Although I'm going to miss my original group every 3rd week, I'll still get to run with them 2 out of every 3 weeks. Yay for me making a hard decision, but one that's best for me!
- 10.49 mi; 2:33:26; 14:38 min/mi avg pace
- 6.31 mi; 1:52:33; 17:50 min/mi avg pace