Yesterday, I was scheduled to run 7 miles for my weekly long run. I was going to meet a friend for a killer 3-mile hill run (according to her) so I planned to do an 4 easy miles before we met up.
I got up at 7:00 and after eating a delicious peanut butter & banana waffle sandwich, I was out the door with the pooches by 7:30 for a 4-mile route that would take me up and over a steep but short hill twice.
I had done 60 minutes of P90X Yoga the night before and my legs weren’t that sore, they just felt tired – kind of the way your legs feel during a triathlon when you get off the bike. Your legs feel so strange that you can’t really tell how fast you’re running like you normally can.
I was pleasantly surprised, then, when I got to mile 1 and my watch read 10:20. Since this was supposed to be my easy long run, and I didn’t want to show up for my hill run with dead legs, I focused on keeping my pace comfortable. On the way back, though, my feet felt so light and my legs felt good so I ran at whatever pace felt good. I finished out those first 4 miles at an average 10:58 pace. (I don’t have splits because my phone’s GPS was acting up. Stupid.)
On my way home, I ran by a baseball field and noticed 5 big black dogs sitting out there. They didn’t seem to be moving, but then one of their tails started wagging. I stopped running and stared. What were dogs doing out on the baseball field? And where were their owners? And why were they sitting so still? They were all still as statues, except for the one that was wagging its tail.
Then I realized they were just statues, and the wind was blowing the one’s tail. I remembered that I had seen one of those at another park near our house and that one had freaked the crap out of me too. Once I realized they weren’t real, I was like, What in the heck? WHY would somebody put statues of coyotes out here and scare the living crap out of people? Travis told me today that they’re to scare off geese so that they don’t ruin the fields. I totally understand why the geese would be scared. I’m scared.
Anyway, I got back home and was gathering my things when my friend said it was too windy over at her house (which I totally believe – that wind is ferocious!) and she didn’t have time to drive over to my place. So I was on my own for the last 3 miles. I had changed yesterday to be my hill workout of the week and had been wanting to tackle the devil hills on Carr Street (those same hills that rocked me when I biked to work over the summer). So I mapped out 3 miles quick, grabbed my stuff and drove over to the park I planned to start at.
Before getting out of the car, I ate a peanut butter Gu.
I had heard about these from Amanda at Run to the Finish and thought I’d try them out. After dealing with frozen Shotbloks during the Ralston Creek Half, and getting sick of picking leftover gummy out of my teeth, I decided that I needed to find a different fuel. So I picked up 4-5 different flavors of Gu and some Honey Stingers. The peanut butter Gu was surprisingly delicious. It actually tasted like peanut butter, and the consistency was very close to peanut butter, only slightly runnier. I was definitely a fan.
And with that, I was off. The wind was cold and I had cooled down with the break between runs so I was not thrilled to be out there. But I am a stubborn person when I get an idea in my head. I was going to run 7 miles, no matter what.
I feel pretty good about these hills – a 4% grade for 1.38 miles. With some walking to catch my breath and doing what felt like an insanely slow shuffle run, I made it to turnaround in about 23:20 (11:54/mile). On the way back, though, it felt like I was cruising and I made it back in 20:06 (10:15/mile).
My view heading back:
All in all, I ended up running 7.94 miles in 1:27:27, exactly an 11:00/mile pace. Considering the hills I ran up, I am very excited about this run. It has really encouraged me that all this hard work and dedication is paying off, and I really am becoming faster. Yay! It has also made me very hopeful that there are no hills like this in the Mayors Marathon. Just sayin…
Every time I rolled over last night, and when I got up this morning, I realized that I am incredibly sore from the last two days. My arms, back and core are the sorest and I know that’s from yoga. Seriously, such a good workout. I still haven’t mastered the standing half moon poses. I’m pretty sure they’re tough any time, but they’re especially so on tired legs!
Well, I’m off to bed – starting the week off right, like a grandma.