Friday was my first ever 8 mile run. And even though the temps were warmer outside, the winds were high and I wasn't up for a beating, so I ran on the treadmill. As per my usual long-run M.O., I had Dave Matthew's Concert in Central Park CDs in my ears. Dave's quickly become my favorite running partner.
It was harder than I thought. The first 2 miles were okay, then I had to go to the bathroom real bad, but I kept going until mile 3 because I figured if I got off the treadmill, I would at least be able to finish the next 5 miles in an hour (which is how long the treadmill goes until it shuts off the run). So I took a potty break (thank goodness I ran inside) at 35 minutes , and then got back on prepared for an hour of running.
I kept my running pace at 10:54 until about mile 4, then backed down to 11:19. At mile 5 I felt worn out--my socks must be worn out too because the right one started rubbing my foot. I took several walk breaks between miles 5 and 7.5 and then that mystical, magical runner's high kicked in and the last half mile was golden. I didn't notice the pain in my foot any longer from my sock rubbing it. I didn't feel like I needed any more walk breaks. I even felt like I could keep running past 8 miles. But I stopped, because DH and I had dinner plans and I had to get home (that's my story and I'm sticking to it).
When I took my socks & shoes off at home, I saw what I feared had happened: a small blister had formed on the bottom of my right foot. I was pretty ticked off at first, then I thought "Hey, it's my first running blister. I ran so far I got a blister. I ROCK!" Well, I wasn't quite that excited about it, but I do think it's kinda cool. Next I'll be excited that my big toe is turning black. Ha.
Anyway, the blister wasn't anything a specialty blister bandaid under a big sports bandaid couldn't take care of. And I felt just fine this morning for my 2nd 5K race.
My friend Max picked me up at 8 a.m. and we drove out to the West Side of town to register. My bib number was 94. It was a very small field, maybe 120 people, and the race was a fund raiser for a high school track team. The weather was perfection--sunny, very little wind, low/mid 40s. Around 9 a.m. we were all just kind of standing around in the parking lot waiting for the race to start when the gun finally went off; they didn't have a set starting line and I have no idea why. So I pushed "start" on Garmin quickly and off we went.
Before I go any further, let me say that Evansville is a flat town, for the most part. I run on the East side and it is flat as a pancake in all but a couple places. I always run on the pancake parts. The West side, however, is known for some pretty big hills--Reitz Hill and The Hilltop Tavern on Harmony Way are a couple of city landmarks. On the drive out to the high school, it dawned on me (I'm slow this way) that we were going to a race for a West side high school, which means we were more than likely going to run some hills. Crap, I thought. I don't do hills.
Well I did today. The race started with us running up a short but very steep hill out of the school parking lot. By the time I reached the top I thought I was gonna die, but Max kept me going. The rest of mile 1 flattened out and we held a fast pace, mostly 9:30s. Garmin said we finished mile 1 at 9:45, which is the fastest mile I've ever run (yes!). Mile 2 had a couple of down hill spots, which was sweet. But I was pretty stinking tired after that first mile and Garmin said mile 2 was 10:14, still a pretty decent pace for me.
Mile 3 kicked my ever lovin' ass. I ran Evansville's Heartbreak Hill. Scratch that--I didn't run her, I had to walk that bitch. I started it as a run but I was so worn out I just couldn't keep up even a 12 minute pace. So I walked, then ran about 10 seconds, then just gave up and walked the rest of the way. Max had stayed with me for the first two miles but when we hit The Hill he left me in the dust. I finally made it to the top and had about .4 miles left to go. I caught my breath and ran as fast as I could the last leg which was at a gentle down hill grade. Then the last .1 miles was a steep down hill back into the parking lot. I was smoking it at an 8:30ish pace that last tenth.
I finished in 31:34. A PR for me. Max finished in 30ish, he said. It was his first race, which was pretty cool that I got to run it with him.
Today I've not felt very sore but I am extra tired. My blister area didn't bother me at all. I'm pretty pleased with how my body is hanging in there despite me pounding out 11 miles in 2 days. And yesterday after running 8 miles all I could think of was how grateful I am that I. Can. Run.