I did it … My longest run yet!

The one where I manage to run quite far!

Last night was my planned long run.  I needed to prove to myself that I could get somewhere close to half marathon distance.

I planned the route and went over it several times in my head.  I was going to do one big loop into town, along the river and back home.  I checked and checked again the route on Google maps and got ready knowing that I was going to cover about 9 miles.

So, a mad dash home from work, cooked tea for the family and got changed into my runners.  TomTom watch on, bottle of water in hand and I was out the door.

Of I set … it was quite uncomfortable to start with.  My thigh was still throbbing from the bite but I pushed on.  I’ve been really anxious about running the distance and whether I am ready, or even capable, of a half marathon … let alone a full one.

I reached the point to head into town but my nerves took over a bit and I turned to head home.  I didn’t want to go home but somewhere in my mind I decided rather than one big loop why not just run my 5k loop three times.  I was close to home if something happened and I know the route well.  There are a few hills and and a few straight bits where I always seem to build up speed.

At the end of the first lap I checked my watch and it took me about 33 minutes.   As I started lap 2 I was feeling more positive.  My thigh was still throbbing but it was manageable and I got into a bit of a rhythm.

After my attempt at ‘jeffing’ my watch was still set at 4 minute and 30 second intervals.  Although for the first lap and much of the second I just ignored it, I used it as a back up that if I needed to walk it could only be for the 30 seconds when the watch buzzed.  Towards the end of the second lap I did need to walk but as soon as the 30 seconds was up I started running again.

As I started lap 3 I still felt I could keep going.  I knew it was at least 5k before I would be home … but I had to keep going.  And I did!!!

I have never run more than 10k before and now I was at 11k.  And once I was on the straight I new it was quicker to keep going than turn back.

Annoyingly as I got to the roundabout by the hospital I had to stop as there was loads of traffic and it was difficult to cross over.

Just as I was about to cross, some cockwomble pushed past me and sprinted away.  He did turn round and grunt an apology (probably as I had let out a little scream in fright) but it did throw me off my stride.

I used the opportunity to walk for 30 seconds and pull myself together knowing that at this point I had run 15k and I felt pretty good.

But … the last stretch home is slightly downhill followed immediately with an uphill.

At 16k it got tougher.  My legs felt heavy and my thigh was throbbing even more.  I could just about see home so I pushed even more.  Then … one of my favourite running songs came on and it gave me the spurt of energy I needed.  You can’t beat a bit of ELO and Mr Blue Sky to get you going!

And then I was home.  I did it, I had run a massive 17.05k or 10.59 miles.

I was so pleased.  It wasn’t quite a half marathon but it was pretty darn close.  If I can do 10.59 miles, surely I will be able to manage 13.1 miles.

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I plan on doing the same run … maybe a bit more, next week.  As long as I keep training, and keep positive I think I will be able to do this.  This run has given me a bit more confidence.

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