Weekend 6

Yesterday I ran 6.3 miles. It was wonderful.

I suppose I probably should have stayed home to work, but a recent cold front brought our temperatures down to ~60F, and it was just so beautiful outside! The day was practically begging me to run!

I have not run over 4 miles since last June, and I was eager to get outside and push my legs farther. In fact, I was admittedly tempted to run over 8 miles. I held back for two reasons: primarily, because I have not been doing long runs recently, I know I am not trained for it, and secondarily, if I ran over ~6 miles, I would need to put together some nutrition supplies in very short order.

Interestingly, the first two miles were probably the most challenging. Even though my legs were freshest, my mind was fighting. I could feel hesitation inside me, questioning whether I really wanted to do this run, barely even a conscious thought but still rising unbidden.

Once I got into the third mile, I really found my stride. I ran easily, holding myself back, enjoying the sun and the freedom. 

 

In the fourth mile, as I ran downhill, I allowed myself to speed up and let go for a little while. Nothing feels quite as wonderful as the wind in your face and hair, and legs that feel as though they are flying.

The fifth mile was a challenge – uphill, with a great deal of mental encouragement to get me there. The hills leveled off, though the sixth mile still required a great deal of “mind-over-matter” pushing to force my tired legs to keep going.

I chose to run with headphones plugged into my phone and music streaming in my ears. This was my first non-treadmill run with headphones since that race last June… but also my first long run since last June. The music was a pleasant distraction, particularly during the fifth and sixth miles when I was fighting the tiredness in my legs, but I was surprised to discover that I was kind of annoyed by the presence of earphones in my ears. I constantly felt like I needed to adjust them. So strange.

I did get one blister. I first noticed the irritation at the halfway point. I actually thought it would pop and bleed, but it’s not bad at all:

 
In the end, my pace was around 14:00-14:15… much better than I expected! It’s encouraging to see these improvements. I still feel like I’m the slowest runner out there, but it’s nice to be a little bit better than I was.