I haven’t written much about my training plan because I feel like things are humming along, pretty much on track. I’m hitting the hills like crazy, I’m doing boot camp on a regular basis (unheard of before), I’m doing more core work, and I’ve only missed a couple of workouts. I’m also walking two miles every day at lunch still and that has been a big mental boost.
But, we are starting to get into the “long-ass long run” territory. The kind where you need to remember to use Body Glide and pack all your fuel.
Last week’s LALR was 16 miles. And let me tell you, it was a struggle from mile 1. We had a forced “group hug” at mile 4 and things perked up a bit as the sun rose but, at mile 13, I was the closest I have ever come to just quitting and calling for someone to pick me up. I was hurting and mentally miserable. Thankfully, my stubborn streak kicked in and said “the hell you are!” so I turned on some 80s music and put my head down and finished it. Mentally, it was a “win” but man, what a price.
So, skip ahead to this week’s LALR – 17 miles. As you can imagine, we were feeling a bit… apprehensive. Not only did we run faster than expected the day before on a ton of hills but we also accidentally ran an extra mile. Brilliant. Add to that the fact that my BRF got about 10 seconds of sleep and was busting butt all night at her waitressing job, we were expecting quite the shit show.
BUT, we had a secret weapon! I decided a few weeks ago that I wanted to do a Valentine’s theme race and this area is lousy with them. There was a 5K that day so we planned to make that the end of our long run! That meant doing 14 miles in an area that we aren’t overly familiar with but we were up for a challenge! We parked at the starting area for the race and headed out to make the most of it.
We had such a good 14 miles! The hills were rough but not anything we couldn’t handle, the conversation was flowing the entire time, and we were really up beat! We ran that first section at a 10:09 pace. I also set a half marathon PR. What the hell??
Now on to part two! We did a quick shirt change in the parking lot -sorry random people driving by – and ditched our packs/ added more Valentine’s
obnoxiousness awesomeness. (true fact, I ran the entire distance in my tutu because I was afraid of trying to bend down and put it on after 14 miles)
We had two friends that we were hoping to see for a few minutes and they decided to run with us as one of them was a little beat up from mountain biking and trail running the day before (total BA).
These ladies were such a blessing to have with us! Somehow, this race was entirely up hill! We’d run up a hill, turn the corner, and have to run up another stinking hill! It was nuts! Needless to say, the last 2 miles were painful and both of us were struggling. Having our friends with us to chat and keep us distracted made the world of difference! We finished that 5K still at 10:05. Again, what the hell??
The entire day was perfection. Yes, we worked hard (and yes, we are sore today!) but it wasn’t a drudgery. I wish I could bottle up all of that awesomeness and open it on every bad or difficult run.
I’ve been thinking a lot about motivation and attitude and about how a lot of the struggle is just getting out there and showing up. You don’t know what the day/run will bring you but, if you don’t show up and put in your best effort every time, you’ll never be blessed with days like this ❤