A week ago I couldn't have said the same thing. Last week in what was to be my 2nd to last long, slow run I was supposed to go 11 miles. Instead I got a pain in my left foot and wound up cutting it short at 7 miles. My pace for that day was 17:08 minutes per mile. I felt so discouraged and wondered what I had been thinking even trying to do a Half at this point. Would I be able to finish?
Thankfully this past weekend I had a different experience. Saturday was my birthday so it was a happy weekend anyway. Saturday morning my son's cub scout pack volunteered at a 5k. I really enjoyed that. The boys handed out water to the runners and I had fun cheering for them as they went by. My 4-year-old even got into it and handed water out as well. The best part is that my 8-year-old said that he would like to volunteer at more races. I had been wanting to do that myself so this will be a great opportunity to spend time together doing something we both enjoy.
Saturday evening we sent the children to a Parent's Night Out that is held at a local fitness center and we went out. Since it was my birthday I got to choose what we did so we went to see The Hunger Games. I've just recently read the first book and was really wanting to see this movie. My husband hadn't read the book but was a good sport and went anyway without complaint, lol. I thought the movie was great! I usually complain about movie adaptations but this one was really true to the book. My husband enjoyed the movie as well.
Since Saturday was so busy my long run of the week got pushed back to Sunday. It's been getting warm here lately and they were predicting a high in the 90's for Sunday (YUCK!) so I got up really early to go. I left the house around 5:30 am. It wasn't too bad then - a bit humid but not overly hot. It also wasn't very bright out then so I made what I soon learned was a mistake and put my sunglasses on top of my head. Why was this a mistake? Because by the time I did need them there was so much condensation on the lenses that I couldn't see out of them!
I planned my route out so that I would be going past a convenience store a little less than halfway through and then again on the way back. I did this so that I'd be able to use the restroom and buy a drink. Since it was going to be hot I knew I'd go through my water fast and I *always* need to use the restroom during a long run. While I was buying my Gatorade the woman ringing me up was asking me about running. She said that she had wanted to run but hadn't been able to. I told her about Couch to 5K and how I had never been able to run - even as a kid - and that it helped me work up to long distance running.
After the convenience store I ran through a neighborhood and went to a park. The park that I went to has about a 2 mile route through it. Turns out it's really busy on Sunday mornings. There were several soccer games going on while I was there. The sun was also starting to get higher in the sky and I was getting HOT! When I finished the park loop I used the restroom again. I had also finished my Gatorade so I filled my water bottle from the fountain. Now this water is unfiltered and tends to be lukewarm. As a bit of a water snob I usually won't drink our local water if it's unfiltered (tastes nasty!) and I usually insist on my water being cold. But let me tell you, on that hot Sunday morning as I was running down the street with the sun beating down on my face that unfiltered, lukewarm water tasted like sweet, sweet nectar from Heaven! :-P
My return trip was uneventful. In addition to the water and Gatorade I also had some "chomps" and some GU gel. I don't know if it helps my performance any but it does ward off the low blood sugar issues that I sometimes have so I'll keep using them.
When I got home I forgot to have my husband take a picture. I can't believe it! My last "long run" distance and I didn't get a picture afterwards. I guess the excitement was too much, lol. I made a sign and took a picture today just so I'd have something to post. :-P
When I mapped it out after I got home it turns out that I went 12.43 miles in 3 hours 11 minutes which gives me a pace of 15:22! That's the fastest "long, slow distance" pace I've had in a long time and I really felt like I was going at a very comfortable pace.
I have a few more short runs to do before the Half but my long runs for my training are done. Now I'm going into my "taper."
This coming Saturday is the Fat Ass 5K so I'll be writing a full report on that next week.