The longer I run, the more times I write long run recaps, the more difficult coming up with a title becomes. 🙂
Like usual, it took a little while for me to get going this morning. Thankfully, it’s (almost) spring so there’s no major rush to get out the door. (I won’t be putzing around come May to September!)
The weather, by the way, was perfect. It was chilly when I started but warmed up to just below 50 degrees. Amazing.
After last week’s boost from run with (and against) all the half marathoners, I wondered if I would be able to keep up with my goal of sub 9 minute pace for all my long runs. (As I’ve mentioned copious times before, I have a strong tendency to doubt myself.)
I headed towards downtown and settled into a comfortable pace. I’m not sure when I first looked at my Garmin but when I did, I was surprised to see an 8:30ish pace on the screen.
I felt great! I wasn’t pushing at all so I did my best to maintain that pace. Those next few miles I glanced down quite a bit, still shocked to see that pace.
Speaking of shocked, I was a little surprised to see a runner heading the opposite direction fully decked out with long-sleeve shirt, wind-breaker type long pants, hydration pack and … golf club. Yeah, I have no explanation for that.
Around mile 5 I passed a woman wearing a Boston shirt and started thinking about how much I want to qualify and run Boston. It’s pretty ridiculous how badly I want that. I instantly started daydreaming about what it would be like to qualify and how absolutely ridiculous I would act when I got my bib number. (Trust me. It will be ridiculous.)
After a quick break at the water fountain by Linky Stone Park I headed back and knew pretty much right away why that pace had felt as incredibly easy as it did. The wind. It wasn’t terrible but when I turned I ran straight into it.
I kept thinking about Boston though and pushed through the wind. It never really went away but at points it wasn’t as difficult to run through.
Then came mile 9. Right after that point I got a massive side stitch. (This has been happening more often lately and it perplexes me.) I tried to run through it but decided to pause for a minute and see if I could massage it out.
Right at that point a big group of cyclists passed by. Normally I’m not all that impressed with cyclists’ etiquette, especially when they’re in big groups but this group impressed me. They gave adequate warning and didn’t ride so close to me that I felt like jumping onto the shoulder might be safer.
On top of that, the last cyclist in the group noticed that I had stopped and paused to look back and ask if I was okay. That, folks, is how you share the trail.
Shortly after that I started running again. It wasn’t pleasant but I was able to run through the side stitch which lasted about a mile.
It doesn’t surprise me that after negative splitting all of my miles up until that point that miles 10 and 11 went a little bit backwards in pace.
Once the side stitch was gone, I concentrated on finishing strong. I had just started to feel the effects of my fairly aggressive pace. (That’s definitely something I need to work on when I start marathon training in August.)
I kept pushing and finished in 1:41:48 with a last mile just under 8 minutes. I’ll take that for sure.
Now comes the hard part…shaving more time off my pace so that I can run 1.1 miles more in that time or faster. 🙂