With my half marathon just under 5 weeks away, I’ve been pushing my training to try to increase my speed and my distance. I want to be confident in my ability before race day. I know I can get to the halfway point in the 1 hour 15 minute time cap with the adrenaline of a race, but I don’t want race day to be the first time I accomplish it. I want to stand at the start line knowing I won’t be riding back in a bus after only 6.5-6.6 miles.
So Sunday was the day of my long run and I learned a very important lesson… do not try to increase speed and distance on the same day in the form of running hills. Yesterday I started my run on a 2 mile uphill (if the hill appears huge when you’re driving it, running it is a beast). I turned down a road that allowed for some downhill and some flat, then turned around to head back. The problem was, the downhill I had run at the 2 mile-ish marker, became the uphill I had to run from the 6-7 mile range. After 3-4 miles uphill (added all together) and 7 miles total, that 2 mile downhill (the beast from the beginning of my run) no longer seemed that big. Have you ever noticed that? A hill that seems so humungous when you’re running up it, is barely a decline on the downhill…
This was a rough run for me. It seems everyday I have a long run it’s gorgeous outside, usually a good thing, but sunny and 80 is not enjoyable running conditions. My Nike 3’s which are so not long distance running shoes have served me well to this point, but I can now clock my mileage on when my body starts to scream because of them. Right around mile 3.5 my back aches, my hip hurts, I can feel blisters on the insides of my arches, it’s just excruciating.
There were parts of this run where I felt so strong and parts where I felt so weak. I’m sure that’s not unusual in a long race to feel that way. On the way back around mile 7-8 I actually considered calling my husband and asking him to come pick me up, but I didn’t and I made it.
Along the way I must have told myself ‘You got this’ and ‘I can’t go one more step’ at least a million times. Some miles one voice won, others, the other voice did. I just have to keep pushing, and I just have to get actual running shoes!