Although several other people from our group came out to run on Saturday, Amy and I were the only ones doing 11 miles. Jeff tweaked his back a week ago and couldn't run, so we were solo on our adventure. I'm not going to lie...this was a mental challenge, knowing that we had to run so many miles. I think we are both pretty much over the long distances at this point. But, we wouldn't do ourselves any favors by shortening the run, considering our half marathon is in three weeks, so off we went. We decided to stick to 1:1 intervals since we had so far to go - there will be plenty of time to work on running continuously when we only have a few miles on tap. I have to say, the first five miles felt pretty good. We reached our water stop at mile 7 (Jeff had left a gallon of water out for us) and refilled our bottles, plus we both were really thirsty and drank extra before topping off and continuing. I think this was where Amy asked me if we only had to go to a certain point (about another quarter mile) and I said "no, we have to go all the way to the end" - oops. That was my bad...my BIG bad. During the entire run, I was trying to not look at my Garmin except to note mileage for when it was time to take a GU - I didn't want to focus on HOW MUCH FARTHER we had to go...but that, combined with a bad case of runner's brain (you get fuzzy after many miles), was why it didn't click with me that our distance was off.
On and on we ran. We hit our turnaround point and eventually got back to the water, where again, we were super thirsty! I swear, we both drank more during this run than we do during a hot and humid run...between the two of us, we downed half a gallon of water, plus what was in each of our water bottles to begin with. We turned into the fancy neighborhood, and took our new favorite shortcut - a different street, where we usually see lots of deer, plus some neat houses. But it was at this point that Amy looked at her GPS watch and said "we have way more than half a mile to go" - oooooh no! I looked at my Garmin and sure enough, we were already at 10.5 miles...ugh. We ended up running to 11 miles and then walked the last mile in. Two funny things about that - first, when we started our run, Amy mentioned that it was nice we didn't have to do 12 miles, since that's what we did during our official training. Haha, joke's on us, right? Second, Jeff was waiting at home for us to finish, so he could meet us at Blue Baker for breakfast. I guess he figured we'd been out long enough and drove out to pick up the water, and then drove past us as we were getting close to the park. By then, we were weaving and incomprehensibly giddy - he just waved and drove on. I almost cried. He drove back a few minutes later after realizing that something was off and offered us a ride, but we were determined to finish the entire 12 miles on our own, so we did. Huzzah?
Tired, tired, tired - but looking fabulous in our new running jackets!
For the second week in a row, I got blisters. I didn't feel them forming until mile 8 or 9, so the obvious (to me, anyway) solution would be to run no more than 5 miles at a time...but next week we have 8 on tap, and that pesky half marathon soon. It's frustrating because although I am wearing new shoes (which I thought I'd broken in enough), I really haven't changed anything - they are the same style, size and even color as my old ones.
I stretched once I got home, and again later that evening - my "Stretchy New Year" resolution seems to be helping as my legs weren't feeling crippled after this run. Of course, maybe I was focusing on all the blister pain instead, but I'd like to think that the stretching is making a difference.
As with much of the country, we are experiencing very cold temperatures, plus the wind is making it feel even worse, so for the past couple of days, I've stayed inside...no running for me. I have started doing planks again, and I rode the exercise bike for a short while yesterday, but I got pretty bored with that (plus my knitting was calling me). Hopefully tomorrow I'll get back on track with my running. Funny that I can feel guilty about running, even after doing such a long run on Saturday - but I do believe that regular, vs. extreme, exercise is the way to go.