At 7:10 yesterday morning I set off for my 13 mile training run. Ah...conquering the half-marathon is always a big deal for me. It means two very important things... 1) I'm capable of running 13 miles and 2) I only need to increase my training runs by seven miles before the marathon. My first of three 20 mile training runs is a month from now. I think I'll be ready...
Yesterday's run was brutal. When I left my house it was overcast, but hot. It was in the mid-70s and VERY humid. I broke a sweat before completing the first mile. The sun stayed behind the clouds until I ran out of Rock Creek Park and onto the sidewalk along the Potomac River. Obviously as soon as there were no trees overhead and no shade anywhere in sight the sun came out. Miles six through eight were hard. When I reached the far end of the Memorial Bridge (in Virginia right in front of Arlington Cemetery) I decided to take a quick break and regroup. I walked for about five minute sipping on water and tried to motivate myself. Only six miles left; only six miles left; only an hour more of running; only an hour more of running. I ended up making a slight detour on my way home, running into Georgetown and through Rose Park. Here I was able to get some extra water at a fountain and refill my water bottle.
The run back through Rock Creek Park wasn't too bad. I think I'm used to the course and know what to expect - in terms of hills and lonely spots. Unfortunately my iPod stopped working around mile nine. The last four miles were a little boring without music and the last song I listened to was repeating over and over in my mind. Slightly annoying. Finishing the last four miles without music was an accomplishment unto itself.
After the run, I walked about four extra blocks home. K and my mom were waiting for me on the front porch. K is in the midst of some serious separation anxiety. As soon as she saw me she only wanted to be with me. Unfortunately I was SOAKING wet with sweat and didn't want to pick her up. So my mom held her for the next 15 minutes as I showered. And she screamed the entire time. It was the single-most UN-relaxing way to recover from a long run. I rushed through my shower, wrapped a towel around me, and didn't even take the time to fully dry off before I picked her up. It was another two hours before she went down for a second nap and I was able to regroup from my run.
In total, the run took about 2 hours 15 minutes. I ran for all but five minutes of this time, which is great. It was a great training run. I know that if I can run 13 miles in the sticky humid heat of DC in July, I will have no trouble in NY in November. Yeah!
This coming Friday I'm going to do a 15 mile run. I'm doing things a little out of order... this week should be a 10 mile maintenance run, but I will have free babysitting this weekend (from my parents). So I'm going to take advantage of that and get my long run in now. Then I'll have two weeks of maintenance runs (10 and 12 miles each) before I head out on a 18 mile run towards the end of August. Sounds like a plan. Here's hoping it starts to feel like fall in early September...
Today: resting my legs. Later this afternoon am going wedding dress shopping with a friend.
Tomorrow: Four mile maintenance run scheduled. Will probably do this in the late afternoon. Maybe D and K will join me.
Monday: am starting to get back into the swing of things re: school. I met with my advisor on Thursday and made a plan, including timeline, for my dissertation. I have to get.on.it. I have committed to spending at least half an hour EVERY day (beginning) Monday on my dissertation. That doesn't sound like a lot of time, but I'm starting with a realistic goal. Really the goal of this goal is to establish a pattern/habit of working on my dissertation EVERY day. Ultimately, I am aiming to be DONE in the spring of 2011.
Currently reading: Devil in the White City by Erik Larson. Love the book and love him as an author. I highly recommend EVERYTHING he's written.