Thus begins my no-race-weekend running. I just got back from a 7-mile run. I had Becky drive me into the country and drop me off so that I could do it without running circles at the track. Altogether, it took me almost exactly an hour (that is an 8:34 pace). I have to say, in some ways it was much harder than I expected. I couldn't run the whole way. I went to the entrance to the neighborhood (.5 miles from the house) before I did any significant walking though. I was at the neighborhood entrance in 50 minutes (which puts my average pace at 7:41 for the first 6.5 miles). Yes, it took me ten minutes to go the last ½ mile. It was pretty difficult. In spite of the walking later on, I think that the hardest part came at about mile 4. I am used to running 3 – 3.5 miles at the track, so getting over that was a bit of a challenge. I don't know if it was harder mentally or physically. I don't want to over analyze – I mean, it was only 1 hour of my life – but mentally I was willing to go the whole way. At about the halfway point, my arms were feeling somewhat heavy – a feeling that didn't really go away completely during the second half of the run. Near the end, however, it was heaviness in my legs that really made me have to slow down. My lungs and stomach felt good the whole way – they only really seem to riot when I run more for speed. I guess that that is the most encouraging thing of all – I mean, endurance has always seemed as much a question of the lungs and abs for me as for any other body part. I feel good now. I sweated a TON.
My next race is a 5-mile race on August 9. I am hoping to be in okay shape for that race. I want to do at least one more longer run before then so that my arms and legs know what 5+ miles feels like. I am not too worried – I mean, there is no question that I will finish the race, and with a decent time by most standards. But my standards are not most standards. Honestly, I really look at this as me still getting in shape. I think that when I am stronger and more used to running longer distances, I will be able to bring my 5K time down to less than 20 min. That doesn't really feel like a very ambitious goal for me, it only requires trimming about a minute, but I have to start somewhere.
The next race after the 9th is August 23. It is another 5-miler. It is the only one of the Road Race Series here that I plan on missing. Because of missing it, I won't get the "coveted Road Warrior title". I will be out of the country during that race. After that, the September races are 10K each and in October the races stretch to 10 miles each. Finally, there are two half marathons in November. If I had to run those today I wouldn't be able to do it, but I feel pretty good about getting there by November. Still, woooh. It won't be easy.
Anyway, today was the first long-run weekend. I know that 7 miles doesn't seem like much to a lot of people, but it was a long run for me.
Well, now I REALLY have to run – dinner's ready.