Wednesday, August 3, 2016

10 Miles of Hills For Breakfast!

As I mentioned before, I've been really slacking lately on my half marathon training.  Well, October 2 is going to be here before I know it - just over 2 months to go - and I need to get serious.

Part of the reason I've been slacking is it is summer and there are just so many more fun things to do than running in the heat and humidity.  When a 2 mile run is a struggle to push through, you know it is HOT.  Plus, with all of these fun activities comes beer and yummy, but oh so unhealthy food.  Sigh.  It's almost August though and I have 2 big races on the books so it's time to find my mojo and get serious about this.

Side note:  I'm running the Sun Run and Dual Challenge on Sunday, August 7 and the NH 10 Miler on Saturday, August 27.

So when my Moms Run This Town running group had a training run for the NH 10 Miler which is billed as hard and hilly I immediately signed up.  Then I almost immediately regretted it.  In fact, the night before I had to convince myself to go no matter how impossible the task of running 10 miles of hills sounded.  Side note:  I haven't run that far since my half marathon almost 2.5 months ago!

I shocked myself when I actually rolled out of bed at 5:15 am on a SATURDAY to get to the starting line for 6:30 am.  What was I thinking?  I had an irrational fear of being left out on the course by myself, getting lost and then *gasp* having to call my husband, who undoubtedly would still be in bed, to come find me.

Luckily, none of my fears came true.

What is truly wonderful about my running group is that you can easily find a few women who have the same fears and the same pace as you.  About 20 women showed up and I went out with the last group to leave so there were 6 of us.  I put in my headphones and told myself to keep the pace slow to start with, but not so slow that I'd get left behind (irrational fear, remember?)

My first 3 miles were great!  My legs felt fast and strong.  I easily passed a group of 5 women that had started out a few minutes before us.  That was before we hit the hill at mile 4 which was a monster!

I had no delusions of grandeur here.  I told myself if I needed to that I could run/walk up the hill which is exactly what I did.  At this point I lost one of the women in our original group.  I was OK with that since I knew a few other women were behind me so I wasn't going to be the last on the course - irrational fear here, remember?

I made it over that monster slower than I know I can do, but still at a damn good pace for me:  11:16.
At mile 5, I refueled using my sports beans and walked.  The walk break I think really helped me conserve energy for the rest of the hills.

At mile 7, I just started to hurt.  My left heel throbbed with every step (eff you plantar fasciitis)  and my right hip was screaming in pain.  I had lower back pain the previous weekend that I think actually originated in my hips.  While I rubbed my right hip and quad, I made a mental note to visit my chiropractor sooner rather than later.

There were more hills and I continued to use the run/walk method on them.  I kept telling myself to not race my long run.  This was a test.  Get the feel for the course.  I wasn't going to get a prize for going whole hog and possibly injuring myself in the process.

Mile 8 had a good sized downhill that I thought I could make up some time on.  Wrong.  I just hurt.  My upper right leg was screaming.  I've never experienced that on a downhill before.  It hurt worse than the uphill did!
Super excited that I hit a 6 mm pace in the beginning! But holy hills! 

By the time I reached mile 9 and I saw the last hill I let out an audible, "Oh my God!"  It wasn't huge, but I couldn't believe we had another one.  I was so happy to get up and over it because it was smooth sailing from there.  It helped that I knew I'd be seeing my car soon which meant I could go home.

I made it back to the start line at mile 9.5 and realized I had missed a side street that I was supposed to take to make up the last half mile.

I went out for a 10 mile run so I was determined to get 10 miles done.

I ran around the parking lot like a nutcase until my Garmin read 10 miles.

My final time was 1:54.  Not bad.  My PR is 1:47 and it was a virtually flat course.

Overall, I couldn't have been happier with this run.  I was only off my PR by 7 minutes and there were a whole lot more hills.  My legs were happy, I felt like I was fueled right and my lungs and stomach were content.  The best part?  Little to no humidity.

Two more weeks and we go out for another practice run.

I'm excited!

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