Today’s long run was a great improvement from last week! I believe that it had to do with the scenery. Today I ran my twelve miles past Universal Studios and back. The run called for a progression. The first three miles were done at a slow pace as a warm up. I ran them all at about a ten minute pace per mile. This was the hardest part; for one I wore a hydration pack and the beginning of the run it was at it’s heaviest, and second that three miles was part of my regular everyday route so there wasn’t a change in scenery. I took the opportunity at a traffic light to catch my breath and sip some water and then I was off again.
The next part of the run started the speed progression. I was to increase my pace throughout the next eight miles. Looking back at my mile splits, I did an okay job at this even though I had no way to track my pace in real time. The part I really cared about was having my last couple miles the fastest, which I did achieve. I was really surprised at how great I felt during this part of the run. It did help that most of it was in the shade; there were times that I felt cold which made me want to run faster. It also helped that I stopped every so often to take photos with my phone. After I got to mile six I turned around and headed back home.
I think I am getting the hang of fueling for my long runs. I sipped water from my hydration pack every now and then and it kept me running fast without feeling dehydrated like I normally do. It wasn’t until after I drank a lot waiting for a light to change at about mile 9 that I started feeling sick; I need more self control with my water. At mile eight I stopped to have one of the energy gels that my sister had giving me for my birthday. It was a chocolate one and it was delicious! The water and gel gave me the energy I needed to complete the progression making mile eleven my fastest!
Mile twelve was supposed to be slow like the first three, but I just wanted to get home so I ran a little faster than I should have, despite my legs feeling fatigued at this point. The entire 12.09 miles took 1:56:16 giving me an average pace of 9:37 per mile. I was very happy with my run and how I felt during it. After last week I was a little discouraged that I quit after mile nine and did the rest on the treadmill and felt horrible doing it. There are always bad run days and I need to learn that it doesn’t mean that I am not improving as a runner. I just have to keep working hard and hope that I don’t have a bad run day come race morning.