an almost perfect 10.
So, guess what?
I ran 10 miles yesterday. In fact, due to a little miscalculation (more on that later) I actually ran closer to 11. 10.84 to be exact.
And I entered double-digit mileage with a smile on my face!
It was like a whole new world compared to my problem-ridden 8 miles. This was the first time that I really, truly felt confident that I’ll be able to complete my half marathon without worries. It is nice to be able to safely say, “I can do it” and feel confident that statement is true.
I started off relatively early for this run. I woke up at 7am, got out of bed, and had some water, toast with peanut butter, honey and banana and some coffee.
While eating my breakfast, I checked the weather. Clear, sunny and a 16° wind chill. SERIOUSLY, SPRING? So I bundled myself into my running gear from February and set out to the trail.
Apparently no one else was interested in running on a cold, cold spring Sunday at 8am, because the parking lot was empty.
While I was in good spirits, I knew from the second I stepped my foot on the parking lot pavement that my peroneal tendon was not going to make this easy. I had rolled my ankle a few weeks ago walking Puppyface and thought the pain in my foot/ankle was pretty much gone. I was wrong.
I had mapped out a course that had me running a mile spur out and back before I made the long out-and-back on the entire length of trail. Since my foot was hurting, I decided I’d warm up with the mile spur and then try to do at least 5 miles total before making a decision.
Since I’ve been trying to heal my foot, I haven’t been running much in the past two weeks and I felt like this was a really, really important run in my training. I didn’t want to skip it completely. I felt like 5 miles would at least help keep my conditioning up to par.
So I started off the first mile and, truthfully, I was in so much pain that I came close multiple times just to walking back to the car. During that first mile, the pain was a 7. But then as I warmed up, it diminished down to a 6. I finished the mile spur and joined up with a dirt trail, determined to get at least 3 miles in.
SWEET GLORIOUS DIRT.
It was like running on pillows. Within 1/2 mile, my foot pain had dropped to a 2 and was barely even noticeable. My original course had me doing 4 miles total on dirt and 6 on pavement. Thanks to well-marked trails (thanks City of Bloomington), I did some math and figured out how many laps I’d have to do to stay on dirt.
So back-and-forth I went. I much prefer doing an out-and-back instead of laps, but the soft, cushy dirt was totally worth the boredom.
After the fueling-failure of my last long run, I made sure to stay on top of everything. I took two dates every two miles and made sure to sip on water through the entire run. Every time I took fuel, I’d walk a bit and stretch out my foot.
My stomach felt totally fine for the entire 10 miles. Here is what I think made the difference:
- Adequate hydration the day before, morning before and during the run.
- A well-balanced, but large meal for dinner the night before (all my good runs have come on the mornings after I was totally stuffed at dinner the night before).
- Smaller cup of coffee in the morning.
- Taking fuel early and often during the run. Not waiting until I crash.
Of course, I did get mega, mega tired during the last mile. I walked more than I would have liked, but that edge was softened when I realized I am terrible at math on the fly and actually ran almost a mile longer than I needed to. But hey, I finished it! And I didn’t feel like hell at the end!
Random picture of a horse farm along the trail, go!
I did finish up my run by doing something that I think officially initiates me into the club of “real” runners.
An ice bath!
As nice as the soft dirt was for my foot, after 10 miles, it was screaming. I knew it needed to be dunked.
After the initial shock, it actually felt amazing. My foot was so hot and throbbing that the ice felt so nice. And I can say, it helped SO much. I was almost positive it was going to be hard to walk today, but I only have a mild ache in my tendon.
Ice works! And it makes for funny pictures.
Next long run is a 15k in two weeks and then after that a 12 miler and then…race day! Woohoo! Almost there.