We are, officially, one-third finished with our training program.
In other words, the easy stuff is over. Now we do the real work.
According to Mr. Higdon, our week was supposed to be:
- Monday: rest day
- Tuesday: 3 miles
- Wednesday: 6 miles
- Thursday: 3 miles
- Friday: rest day
- Saturday: 9 miles
- Sunday: cross training
Because of travel schedules upcoming and past, we used this week as “building” week rather than our stepback week though – which meant we ran 14 miles on Saturday morning instead of the scheduled 9.
Our longest run ever.
The first 3 miler of the week was fast and easy. I got my butt out of bed on Tuesday and cranked out those 3 miles at a sub-9-minute pace – pretty fast for me. Felt great.
I met Ginger at an ungodly early hour (5:10 am) for our mid-week 6 miler. We ran slowly and easily, talking and trying to avoid uneven sidewalk cracks in the pitch-black darkness on a new running route. We explored a few city parks near both our houses.
I chose to run my second 3 miler on Friday rather than Thursday, and had a tough one. Really tough. I couldn’t find a rhythm and my breathing was irregular, my pace off. Couldn’t tell if I was running way too fast or way too slowly. I got dizzy and disoriented, my legs were tingly. I had to walk around 1.75 miles for a bit. It was a crazy run.
We spent all day Friday getting ready for our big run on Saturday morning. We ate appropriately, hydrated thoroughly, made sure our water bottles and fuel belts were properly loaded and packed. We went to bed at 9:00 pm.
The weather was a little warmer than last weekend, but not terrible. It’s Florida. I promise I’m done complaining about it.
The run started strong for everyone. Our pace was a little quicker than usual; our aches, pains and issues in check. We stopped for our first refuel around 5.5 miles, where we downed a few Honey Stinger chews and I finished one of my 10oz bottles of Gatorade. We were all carrying liquid for this run – we’ve learned our lesson.
We got to our usual cold-water fountain at 8.5 miles. It’s incredibly refreshing, especially because the mile run toward it faces directly into the sun, and the sun’s reflection on the water. I bought a cheap pair of sunglasses that were a huge improvement over my hour-long squinting of runs past.
Adding two miles to our already long run seemed daunting, but we made it straight through again to mile 12.5, where we stopped for our last cold water break before the last hot stretch back to the car.
I was feeling strong and fast up to this point and had considered not stopping … which would’ve been the right choice. Starting up again after 12 miles was tough, and I struggled through the last 1.5 miles, but I did it. We did it.
We just ran our longest run ever. 14 miles. And it’s just the beginning.