This weekend was a warm one. Summer solstice was upon us and we had grand plans. Friends and family were invited to grill and swim as we welcomed summer in with open arms.
But anyone arrived, I went out for my usual Saturday morning long run. I aim to hit 7 miles each weekend and to slowly move up from there. When I got the email with our routes for the day, I saw the option for 10 miles.
Hey, why not? I said to myself. If I can do 7, I bet I can do 10 miles! So I prepped and got mentally ready to add on 3 extra miles to my already new record of 7 miles.
The morning started out hotter than we hoped for. Running at 7am when the sun rising quickly is never a good sign. I like when we have that morning fog to blanket us as we sweat it out on our route. I also pulled a muscle in my back trying to get into my sports bra while I yawned. Something about having my muscles in an unusual position and then yawning that caused a painful pull to spring up. Not fun! And I worried it was a bad omen.
After getting ready and trying to stretch out that sore muscle, I ate some toast and a few energy gummies. I figured it might be a good idea to have SOMETHING in my stomach while I’m out there longer than usual, although I prefer to run fasted. Food in my stomach just bounces around and makes me feel ill.
No here’s the thing, 10 miles is a long run but doing it at a 4:1 interval isn’t bad. It breaks down the run into bite sized segments that are doable IF, and that’s a big if, the route is flat. 10 miles flat at a 4:1 running/walking interval is doable. But no, I didn’t choose my first 10 miler to be done on a flat trail. Instead I skipped over the “rolling hills” description in the email and just decided I could do it.
Well, I did do it! Hills and all! And believe me, there were hills. Many, many hills. Big ones, little ones, even some that looked like we were hitting the edge of the world when we came to them.
This may have been a bit overambitious to run my very first double digit run on a very hilly route but I went out with a goal and achieved it.
My first double digit run is now under my belt! And it gave me more confidence than I could have imagined. It was a tough run and my intervals didn’t work for it. Because there were hills throughout the run, I had to adjust my walking/running as I needed. I allowed myself to walk up hills but then took advantage of gravity and run down, letting my feet fly down the other side. As you can see, my total climb was 1514 ft, that’s some decent climbing if you ask me! and my average pace was slow but not that bad with all the walking. I did my first two miles at a 11:30 pace and after that I didn’t go below 13 min/mile. all great accomplishments.
Now let’s talk PRs! Not only was this a personal best for me as some one who NEVER thought they’d ever run due to asthma and bad knees and many other excuses, but this run also busted through 8, count them 8, records! Highest elevation, check! Biggest calorie burn, check! Longest duration, check! Longest distance, check! And a few other overall records. Wow, look at all that blue! Each one stands for the sweat and push I had to have just to make it over each hill. I’m super proud of this accomplishment!
After my run I was dripping in sweat, smelling pretty ripe, and in desperate need of food and water. So I headed home and made a protein shake while I did some stretching. Soon I became concerned about my muscles and how they would recover. Being my first long run ever and with hills on top of that, I was worried that in two days I wouldn’t be able to walk. With that in mind, I sat down with my foam roller and gave it a good workout. Then I sat in a soaking bath with Epsom salt. I also made sure I ate that day. For some reason, after my Saturday runs, I don’t feel hungry. But knowing how many calories I had torched, I made sure to have lots of meat and veggies and some salsa and chips at our BBQ later that day. Had to replenish my energy reserves.
By Sunday I was a little tight up the back of my thighs and my calves were tender but I felt good over all. I got lucky, with all the water and protein and use of my foam roller, I seemed to have avoided some serious DOMS. Whew! Which made my victory even sweeter! I think some severely sore muscles would have made me regret taking on too many miles too fast so having an easy time recuperating from Saturday made it all worth while.
Today we have a 5 mile run planned and I will be there. I feel good and I’m looking forward to my next long run!
Thanks to the Brea Runners who encouraged me and gave me all the support needed to conquer those hills! Without them I don’t think I could have done this myself!