A long run all by myself, I’m growing up!

My running partner in crime, Molly, is out skiing this weekend. How inconsiderate of her! 😆 I thought it would be a good opportunity to catch up on a run with Meghan who’s currently training for the Boston marathon, but the poor girl got injured on Monday and is taking the week off from running. For a second there I got nervous – I haven’t done a long run by myself since I met Molly. My longest run on my own was 7 miles last August. Instead of being discouraged, I decided that this was actually going to be a really good test for me. I’ve become a much stronger runner since those 7 miles. I’ve covered hundreds of miles – I could do this!!

[This ended up being a long recap – follow along at your own discretion 😉 ]

I woke up an hour and a half before my planned run and had my usual toast with Barney Butter and banana (you’ve seen it a million times, click here for a visual if you need it 😉 ). I was a bit nervous, but decided to just take it really easy. Slow and steady wins the race, right? Ok, no exactly… but it may make for a more pleasurable run. 😀 After a 1/2 mile warm-up walk (until my Garmin found the satellites) I got to it. I roughly planned out my route to make a 9 mile loop. I like running to a “destination” so there is something to look forward to. Also, this prevents me from deciding to cut the run short because I’m already so close to home. Today’s “destination” was the Jamaica Pond (in Jamaica Plain). I’ve done this run so many times and it never gets old. There are always so many runners and power walkers by the pond, no matter the weather, and I feel proud to be part of this little community. :)

So I took off, every time I looked down my Garmin said I was doing an 8:30-8:40 pace. I couldn’t believe it – it felt so easy! I know that usually when Molly and I run we talk the entire time. It makes the time really fly by, and we catch up on everything that’s happened in the past week. When we ran the half, we ran side by side, but didn’t talk, and our pace indeed was the pace I was running at today. I wasn’t complaining, that’s for sure! Around mile 3, I really wanted to stop and walk. Originally my plan was to run straight through – no stopping, but right around that mile 3 marker that seemed like a silly plan. So what if I stopped for just a minute? Would it really make that much of a difference? I bargained with myself and decided to take a walking break at the half-way point. Man, that’s a whole 1.5 miles away!! No, no – that’s negative thinking, I could do this!

Minutes after deciding to allow myself that walking break, I realized that I was running uphill. The second I hit flat ground, a walking break seemed like a silly idea. Now I really wanted to make it a full 9 miles without stopping, and this time I really did know I could do it. I ran around the pond twice, it’s fairly flat there and very beautiful. After the second loop, I was at 5.6 miles – the perfect time to run back home. I was smiling ear to ear at this point. OMG, I’m going to rock this run!!

By the way, I forgot to mention that this run was basically the exact same route that the BAA half follows (except I turned around 2 miles earlier). Around 7 miles or so, I was starting to slow down. My legs were starting to hurt a little. I was at the exact location that I started to really feel it during my half (it was mile 9 then). I distinctly remember Molly asking me if I wanted to walk for a minute or slow down… and I remember saying “I don’t know…” and kept running. I wanted to be stronger than that on THIS run. I pictured the point at which I thought I saw a 13 mile market (it was a 12-mile marker in fact). I wanted to get there, and I wanted to keep going. Remember, I was going to rock this run!! So I kept running and drinking water. I brought some orange slices with me for fuel, but I didn’t want them. I knew I could finish without them. I slowed down a bunch just to make sure I finished the run strong. Finishing the distance was my main goal. I didn’t care about speed. At the end, I was happy with both. I finished 9 miles in 1:22 hours – 9:08 minute average pace. I did it!!!!!! [Insert happy dance here :mrgreen: ]

After a good stretch and a shower, I met up with Coco for a celebratory brunch. I’m going to do a recap of that in a separate post because you are probably tired from reading. 😆 Here are the rest of the day’s eats.

Organic fuji apple

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Grilled chicken, avocado and cheese panini + baby carrots and grape tomatoes

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I ended up dumping a bunch of salsa over the sandwich. That was an awesome addition to the panini!

TJ’s nonfat european style yogurt, chia seeds, pear slices + Zoe’s granola

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A Black Dinah Chocolatiers truffle

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It was the perfect Sunday!

Do you have any tips for completing long workouts?

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17 comments to A long run all by myself, I’m growing up!

  • Congrats on such a great run! You are going to do great in your next half. You took the first experience, and clearly learned from it. Good job listening to your body, slowing when you needed to, and drinking water! I am bad about water, but your cautionary tale taught me that I need to take hydration very seriously.

  • CONGRATULATIONS!!! Your running story is really inspiring! I’m starting training this week for my first 10-mile race (I’ve never run over 6 miles before in my life!!!) so reading about your accomplishment is really inspiring for me! Way to go :)

  • Good for you! Jamaica Pond is one of my favorite runs of all time. For me it’s about a five mile loop. When I set out on long runs by myself I make sure to have my fuel belt and my iphone, and a t pass just in disaster strikes. I think your internal dialogue was right on. You must feel so accomplished! I would love to do the BAA half because I love that route, maybe I’ll have to research that a bit more.

  • Congrats on your solo run! I tend to work out for long hours, mostly lifting now but definitely used to be running, by myself. Most of the time I actually prefer and find it easier to just stick to my own natural pace without having to think about the other person. I definitely pace much faster in races, when I run alone and think about nothing else than letting as few people as possible pass me and getting to the finish line asap!

  • Congrats on the run! I find that I really have to commit to a plan before I leave so I don’t back out :-)

  • AWESOME speedy run girl!!

  • What an awesome run! Congratulations! I have such a hard time workout out for a long time – I get bored – but it you were able to keep yourself motivated and focused. Awesome =)

  • WTG on the run, Congrats!

    I haven been training alone for my current race. I like to map out my run before I go, so that I am prepared. I also like to run away from home, so I am not tempted to cut my run short!

  • Great run!! You’re my inspiration – I need to run longer without stopping! I totally understand you talking yourself out of walking…I try to do the same thing.

  • Miriam

    Tip : MUSIC! Anything that has energy in. So anykind/type/ethnicity.

  • That is AWESOME! What a great run and a great accomplishment all on your own! I need to start amping up my running too if I’m ever gonna do that half in September! Now that the weather is starting to warm up a bit around here, it’s easier to get out there and just do it, huh? GO YOU!!

  • sister inna

    nice job! so proud of you 😀

  • Jen

    Congratulations on your run! It is an amazing accomplish when you finish strong what you set out to do! I’d love to run that route sometimes, but I live in Southie, so i’m not sure it makes the most sense for me. I, personally, love to run along the Charles – I snapped some pictures on my run yesterday. http://healthylaps.com/2010/02/21/homemade-veggie-burgers/ It was such a gorgeous weekend in Boston!

  • Wow that’s awesome! What a great run! I love having those incredible runs where I surprise myself at what I can do.

    Way to work it!

  • Way to rock it! The only thing that gets me through any size run is music. I have to have my ipod.

  • woohoo! i haven’t run down by jp, should totally do that next time! i did 6.5 on saturday… despite the fact that i woke up with a not happy back :( i’m hoping it feels better tomorrow? i’m getting ansy….

  • Congrats on your run! You really are an inspiration to all of us beginning joggers :)

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