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.
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.