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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