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the long slow run that is fast

Monday, April 23, 2012

Last week's long run was an incredible 16 miles. After the previous week's so-so run I needed this. I ran the first 4 with my sister, her friend, and my sister-in-law who is 33 weeks pregnant. We went slow and enjoyed some girl talk.

They turned right to a coffee shop and I turned left to run 12 more miles. Alone. I was actually looking forward to the alone time. And the whole thing went surprisingly well. I changed my route because I was so close to Minnehaha Falls in Minneapolis and I wanted to check it out.

I love how Instagram makes me look like a good photographer.

I went down the steps and ran through the trails. It was peaceful and invigorating. So cool to be in the middle of a city and have such great nature.

After checking out the falls I ran to my brother's house and asked for a banana. I still had 7 miles to go and was hungry. They laughed and sent me on my way.

I use the mapmyrun app and I love the voice that announces mileage and average pace. I call her Siri's sister. My average pace kept dropping with each mile. I wasn't trying to go fast, I was just running what felt normal. I forget what the pace was by the end of the run. Maybe right around 9:30mm. The next day I was sore. And the next day and the day after that. I guess I pushed it a little too much and should have slowed down. I know it is the Long Slow Run and all, but I just went with what felt right.

So good to have a 16 mile run that felt great because after the 14 miler I was a little concerned with the distance and time commitment of training. It went so well that I was wasn't even nervous for 17 miles.

Yesterday morning a group of us met up again. We started the first 3.5 just like last week. All together, real slow and easy. Then my husband and I went out on our own. Just like last week, we kept getting the app announcement that our average pace was dropping with each mile. I said we needed to slow down and it felt like we did. I was talking the whole time and felt great.

We were about half way around our 2nd lake and it was mile 11 and I realized that we were probably further than 6 miles from home. I know, I know. How do I use a GPS app that maps everything and gives pace, but I didn't properly map out the run beforehand??! Well, I trusted my dad. That's a fair mistake! And I wasn't letting it get to me because when we hit 13.1 our time was 1:49. That is faster than my HM PR. And I felt great!! How is this happening?! Of course that negative voice jumps in and says: "Maybe this is your peak. maybe this is your best running and you'll get hurt before June." Shut up mean voice! I am a runner and loving it!

Long story, short: we ended up running 19. I fueled much better eating a Stinger honey waffle (holy yum!) around mile 9 and a mocha GU at 14. Still not a huge GU fan. At 16 I hit my "crabby wall" and sent my husband ahead of me. I was shocked by how good I felt throughout the run and even at the end once I got time to myself and back into that runner's zone. I was really shocked that my average pace was 8:49.

I think the biggest thing I've learned from this is START SLOW. I know that slow means different things for different people. All runners need to do what's best for their bodies. Starting slow makes sense. Warm up, right?! Well, I think I've always started too fast and then been zapped.

I am still shocked by how good I feel today. No soreness like last week. I feel ready for a marathon. I know I'll have another bad run before then and that's OK. It's good for mental toughness. Everyone that says training is a journey is absolutely right.
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