Today was another long run in our training for the San Antonio Rock and Roll 1/2 marathon. It is getting close and we are getting excited. We decided when we signed up for this run that we wanted to run the distance before the race just to make sure we could finish - Ha!
This was the second time we have run the entire 13.1 miles - and was by far one of my best runs. I've been saying all summer that the heat just kills my running and the run this morning is just one more item I have to prove that.
When we got to White Rock Lake this morning it was about 6:30. (We slept in since we went to church last night and wouldn't be driving over to see the kids after our run this morning!). It was also about 60 degrees! For me - that was heaven! When we started out it was with shivering muscles and chattering teeth, but that didn't last long! :) The first mile was a warm up in the most literal sense of the word. The longer I went, the better I felt. By the 2nd mile in I was really feeling good! I picked up the pace...I kept thinking, "This is going to kill me on the back side, but it feels so good right now!" Rick said there was a little way there that he had trouble keeping up with me! We finished the first 5K in a respectable 30:57. The 3rd mile of that was run at a 9:46 pace. Like I said - I was starting to feel good!
We stopped for our water break and then took off again. Hoooo wheeeee! After that stop I could really feel the thigh muscles start to tighten. I figured they would loosen right up....hmmmmm. We ran the next 5K in 30:48. If it had been a 10K we were running that would have been negative splits! We actually ran at 9:55, 9:52, and 9:56 splilts for the 3 miles! And one of those was over 1/2 up-hill!!!
I was still feeling good and I was pretty much keeping pace with Rick - a first on one of these longer runs. Well, not so much maybe. The first time we went this distance my goal was to keep the pace below 11:00 minute miles and he stayed with me because we didn't know how hard it would be and we didn't want to have to quit before we finished the distance. Normally when we just do the 9 mile loop he pretty much leaves me in the dust and waits for me at the water stops. :) He is always encouraging when I catch up!
We took off from our water break and I was determined that I was going to keep the pace up for the next 3 miles and beat our 9 mile PR. Our splits on this set were 10:07, 10:06, and 9:43. Can you tell where the fewest hills were, lol? We finished the normal 9.1 miles in 1:30:09. Only .03 slower than our best which was run when we knew that was the complete distance! Now we only had 4 miles to go!
The last 3 were pretty hard. Mile 10 was OK, although it did have a pretty good hill I was still feeling pretty good. I ran that in 10:09. Then the thighs finally locked up - they were screaming at me to STOP THE INSANITY!!!!! My head just kept telling them to pick 'em up and put 'em down. My goal was to not go over a 10:30 split and I almost made it. Mile 12 was my slowest at 10:34. Again, the hill got to me...thank heavens for the water at the top of that hill. Rick finally had to slow down and wait for me a bit at then end of mile 13...with only about .41 miles to go he slowed down and paced me to the end - encouraging me every step of the way to kick it up a notch. We finally finished the entire 13.1 in 2:12:15. Now this is Garmin time - not clock time. I still figure we did it in well under 2:30 - even with longer water stops than we would take in a race, so we are right on pace to meet our goal in San Antonio of finishing in under 2:30.
It is so great to have such an amazing running partner with me on these runs. Even when I can't keep up I know he will be there waiting at each stop for me with an encouraging word and a pat on the back. Keeps me going, and going, and going......