8.66 miles with a fantastic pace

I had a GREAT run today.

I mean, REALLY GREAT.

I ran 8.66 miles. The weather was lovely – 50 degrees, partly cloudy, light breeze. I had a new pair of earbuds to try – similar to these, but made by Sentry.

I used a different brand of fuel today. The grocery store has a sale on Musselman’s Squeezables. The Honey Cinnamon flavor, incidentally, has 17g of carbs per packet, versus 13g in my usual brand.

I started slow, purposely not trying to pace myself at all. Since I ran quite a bit this week, I didn’t want to overdo it. I was also feeling super cautious because my throat felt a tiny big sore, and I was a little concerned that I was getting sick.  

 I ate (drank?) about a half-pack of fruit every mile. By the two-mile mark, I was feeling surprisingly good. The pain in my throat had disappeared, and overall I just felt strong.

In the third mile, the breeze picked up a bit, and I was running into it. Not easy, but I pushed through it. I ran through a shopping district and passed several people during the fourth mile, as well as several cars.

  
At the halfway point, I stopped at QuikTrip to refill my water bottle and dump some trash. I like this photo – the sweat and messiness is a great metaphor for how I felt. 

  
I pushed back toward my house, through the fifth  and sixth mile. By this point I was feeling it in my legs, but I also knew that my pace was remarkably strong, so I decided to push it and see how well I could finish.

The last couple of miles were hard. I was pushing myself, but at the same time my legs seemed to be moving in slow motion. Yet I knew I was having some success – my pace was STRONG, around 13:00. I told myself that the squeezable fruit was superhero juice in my legs. 🙂 Must have worked!

Edit: can’t believe I forgot to mention this! During the 7th mile, a man driving a black Dodge Charger made a very conspicuous effort to honk at me and wave. I’m always glad when people honk at me (it’s fun to be noticed), but I don’t have the slightest idea who it was!

By the last half-mile, I was running on fumes. Knowing that I only had a half-mile left, then a quarter-mile, I dug in as much as I could and threw myself into running.

And it worked. The squeezable fruit, the beautiful weather, everything worked. I ran 8.66 miles in 1:49:44, with a pace of 12:40. Along with my 4 other runs this week, that also brings me to 23.9 miles for the week. I can’t help but imagine myself at the beginning of my running journey, or even before it. I never imagined that I would be able to run so far at that pace.

I still have some anxieties over my upcoming race. I am still unsure about many things in my running world. (8.66 miles is good, but can I run 13.1 at that pace?) But right now, I just feel good.