Today’s long run was our cutback week. It had been a rough running week for me. I felt slower than usual. And just had been missing that spark that keeps me running. So, I had been kind of looking forward to our 16 miles today. And kind of dreading it as well.
As we started, my legs just felt hard and heavy. We did and out-and-back on a 7-mile greenway, so we ended up doing an extra greenway about 3 miles in to add the extra miles. Turns out that greenway was hilly. It ended up being great, in the long run. I think the hills distracted me from the monotony of running.
Allison dropped water at the turn around point. So we stopped to get water and gatorade. Allison runs with her garmin, and tends to let me know when we are going “too fast”. We kept skirting around a 10-minute pace, which is faster than usual for a long run for us. Finally, after the turn around my legs started loosening up.
At about 13.3 miles in (and 2:09 <– decent half marathon time), I finally felt free. We went up a tiny hill, and Allison stopped to walk. I just took off. Then, I saw some of the rest of our group up ahead. Sweet! Road kill! I thought, and picked up my pace. I could hear Allison coming up behind me, so I picked it up more. I passed by the first person (+1). Turned a corner and saw someone else up ahead (+2). All the while, I knew I was picking up the pace. I saw another person we knew, and picked up for one more road kill for a total of +3. Then I could hear Allison coming up strong, from behind me. I glanced back, laughing. As soon as she saw my smile, she sprinted up to me and we started joking about how I had really picked up the pace, and informed me we were running at a 9:33. (Our typical long run pace has been 10:30-11:00). I joked about negative splitting. Then, she told me we were at 15.30 miles. I saw one more person in the distance, and said “I’m gonna get one more road kill”. She picked up the pace with me until we were in as much of a sprint as you can be 16 miles in. Total road kill: +4.
(Our final 0.25 miles was a 8:57… That’s my typical tempo pace)
What we had both thought was going to be a terrible 16-18 miles turned into a crappy 10 miles, followed by a great 6. And, I’m not too sore today.
I came home to find my gay best friend had picked up a patio set and left on my patio. So, I can host for 8 for the next few months.
I also get to go pick out a new pair of Brooks Pureconnects today. They’re my favorite shoe ever. Seriously, Ever. I feel like Brooks must fill those babies with pure magic. However, the magic doesn’t last forever for me. 190 miles in, and they’re breaking through, so NOW I get a new color. Lemon/lime? Purple? Who knows?! I’m hoping my old Half Marathon 2.0 coaches are there.