1) I'm finally getting my AWFUL sleep pattern under control!!! Yay!!!
2) I have been the worst at cooking in the last week. Absolutely horrific. If you don't ask me how many times I cooked, I'll tell you no lies.
3) I need a big change in my life. I'm feeling stuck.
4) And now for an unnecessarily long recap of my long run. Saturday, I ran out of my front door with a goal of going at least 11 miles on a wandering route through one of my favorite neighborhoods. I've done multiple short runs from my house but this was my first time attempting a long run from there. It was also the first time in a while (if ever??) that I tried eating shot bloks in lieu of actual food i.e. oatmeal with molasses and raisins or a peanut butter bagel or peanut butter sandwich. Oh did this bite me early. I wanted FOOD. Duh. I know myself. Other people can run on empty or near empty and not eat during but this is not me. Reminder: Only fix things that aren't working. No matter. Training is the time to try ridiculous things.
Knowing I would have to return on an uphill (a pretty evil and steep one at that), I wanted to start out very conservatively. But as cold as it was (46 degrees), my summer version of almost fast for the beginning of a long run (12:30/mile) felt excruciatingly slow. I knew if I could stay at that speed for a few miles, I could pick it up in the middle and end and finish strong up to my door. Except... at mile 4.5, I saw a lady from my running group running with one of her other running groups (she's in THREE) and she invited me to join them at 11:15 pace. I knew that might be a little fast for a long run but I was (as always) game to give it a shot. I felt better about it because I had banked some time early on.
Sometimes the pace felt easy and awesome, other times it felt utterly ridiculous and wretched and not, like you may think, just on hills. The hills felt mostly okay. I was able to keep up with others and recover pretty nicely which felt GREAT! I think the biggest problem that I wasn't as aware of at the time was the incessant variation in my pace. When I looked at my chart, I was going back and forth between 10s and 12s pretty constantly for 5.5 miles. How exhausting! I got tired just looking at it! If we'd actually stayed closer to 11:15, I probably would've been fine.
But I was overjoyed to break off from them once I finally looped back to a street I recognized about 10.5 miles in. I knew I was over 2.5 miles from home but I wasn't sure on the exact distance and I was nearing TIRED. And smelling lots of bacon and sausage scents wafting out of houses over those middle 8 miles. (No, I wasn't hallucinating!) I entertained myself by imagining I would knock on a door and ask for some bacon. LOLOL It was nice running off from a familiar route onto an unfamiliar route and not having to worry about how to get back. It would've been nicer if I could've been bothered to pay a little more attention so I can replicate it! LOL
It didn't take long for me to REALLY be ready to be done. Like another mile ready. But by this point I was approaching my favorite section of downhills. I told myself I EARNED those downhills and I wasn't about to start walking now! I kept giving myself goals of a little farther, a little farther until I got to the rudest uphill toward my house and ended it at 12.85 miles. I thought about getting to or surpassing my farthest ever distance of 13.1 and decided I was so tired it wasn't even worth it. At one point I said, "How annoyed will you be if you don't do it? It's only XX farther!" But my body said stop. And I don't regret it at all. I walked the last mile home at approximately 700 minutes/mile pace squinting like a crazy person as sweat burned my eyes. This doesn't happen during my runs but after? MY EYES!!
And now my left quad absolutely hates me. It's so achy and angry! I've prescribed yoga for myself and maybe another day layoff Tuesday depending on how much my quad does/does not cooperate. If it's at all tight like it is today, don't worry! I will sit myself down! I'll get in plenty of miles on Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday. Saturday will probably be 13 but this time at MY PACE!! Overall, I still consider this a good run because I completed it and learned some things. I also think I've stumbled on the strategy I want to use. Starting over half marathon pace (HMP), then dropping 10 seconds every three miles until I'm under HMP, sprint to the finish. I've also revised my goal down from 2:45 to 2:37 (12:00/mile). My race is December 1st. 40 days away!