Hmm...never even occurred to me that today was actually my longest run of the year. I didn't even notice it until I uploaded my info on Daily Mile and was looking at my mileage for the year. It makes sense now that I look back, but it still feels kind of odd. It's amazing how my mindset has changed on running the past year and a half. I now consider 13ish miles to be "light" mileage in marathon training. I think this is why it shocked me this was my longest run of the year. It feels like I have ran more, but I guess I really haven't. I missed most of January and February recovering from a mean case of Achilles tendonitis. March was spent trying to get used to swimming and biking and slowly coming back to the running scene. In April, I increased my running mileage for the OKC Memorial half marathon, but never crossed the 10-mile mark leading up the race. The race was 13.1 miles obviously and the rest of my running up until July was focused on the Olympic distance tri training. Today I logged 13.3 miles as I crossed the half-way point in my Chicago training schedule. Longest run of the year. Kinda odd.
For today's run, I joined up with the Team-in-Training crew and ran with them since I wasn't on coaching duty. Katie, my running companion for Chicago, also joined me this morning for our first long run together of the current training season. I forget that most of the TNT crew is training for Nike Women's Marathon in San Francisco and all of their routes revolve around hills. I don't run hills very often. Actually, not at all. Chicago is flat so I haven't really spent a lot of time seeking them out. Wow, for those of you who think Oklahoma is flat, think again. We definitely have our hills. My knees and calves hate me right now. I think my knees hurt from curb-jumping too much downtown since OKC has no sidewalks. Big FAIL for OKC. That is why we passed the sales tax funding for bike and running trails last year though. We will get there some day!
Temperature-wise it wasn't terrible this morning. I think we were in the mid-70s to low-80s for our run, but the air was thick with humidity. I was wringing out the sweat from my shirt and shorts at the end of the run. I was soaked. Luckily, I have never really had a problem with blisters. My shoes were wet, and are still wet after nearly 10 hours sitting out to dry. Talk about disgusting! Pace-wise we were running about 8:30 min/miles for the most part of our training, but we stopped at all of the provided water stops so our averaged ended up being closer to 9:30 min/miles when it was all said and done. It's such a blessing to have water stops on the long runs during the summer. I still carried my handheld bottle, but that wouldn't have even gotten us through 6 miles the way we were sweating today. Thank you TNT coaches and friends!
I am now off to pack for my quick trip to Austin. I am really looking forward to relaxing at Lake Travis and enjoying a few days off from training. I know I will come back refreshed, motivated, and ready to tackle the last half of training for Chicago. Nine weeks....can't wait!
I will leave you with a comment I found last night while searching through Ironman videos on YouTube. I found it to be very inspiring and one I will keep with me as I sit down and write down my New Year's Resolutions in a few months.
"At what point do you say to yourself, 'this is too much....?' NEVER. It is never too much....it is never enough. To continue to push beyond your limits is the true essence of humanity. Never stop...never quit. This is why I'm hard. This is why I'm IRON." posted by INGRox