It Looks Good At First...

I ran twelve miles with an average pace of 9:45/mile. I wish I could stop there, but it's not as good as it sounds.

First problem: I drank Gatorade or drank water with a gel every two miles until I couldn't stand it anymore. Next time, I need some "water only" breaks.

Next problem: I started out too fast and by the six mile point of my run, I wanted to quit. That's partly because I picked up the pace even more at the start of mile five, hoping to do two or three marathon paced miles. I felt good in the beginning of my run. The running felt easy. There was a breeze. I didn't want to slow down. Bad choice.

By the five and a half mile mark, I was spent. There was a walker with her dog (I was at the park today) who apologized because he was standing in the middle of the path and all that I could do was whisper, "Izzokay." Compare that a few miles before when I saw someone with a dog, I smiled and asked what kind it was as I ran by and then yelled back that it was cute. (It was a wire-haired griffon. He looked like he had bushy eyebrows.)

At the beginning of mile six, I pulled a bottle of Gatorade off of my belt to drink and stood in the shade of a bush. "I can't!" swirled through my brain. So it was time for a pep-talk: I can run six more miles. I want to run twelve miles today.

At mile seven, I wondered why I was still running. No one is making me run. I wanted to run. Sometimes it's good to think about that.

At mile eight, I told myself that all I had left was four short miles. That's shorter than most recovery days.

At mile nine, I ran back to the car where I had some ice water. No, no, I wasn't quitting! It was early for a drink break, but I had to wash the sweet gel and Gatorade taste out of my mouth.

I wasn't due for a drink break until mile eleven now, but I took another short stop at my car for more water at mile ten. I was really babying myself.

I ran some more and with 1.58 miles to go, all I could think about was taking off my wet shoes and socks. I felt like I was running in a puddle. I only had about fifteen more minutes to go now.

And then it was done and off came my shoes and socks.

Here are my mile splits: 9:27, 9:10, 9:21, 9:21, 9:08 (trying to speed up to 8:47), 9:02, 9:51, 9:59, 10:03, 10:34, 10:23, 10:36/mile.

And now you have the full story. When I was driving away from the park with the air conditioner on full-blast, I was so pleased that I had run the full twelve miles. I made a couple of bad choices, but in the end, I didn't quit. I didn't quit. I didn't quit. Okay, I'm done now! I'll quit!

Oh, except for this: I ran six miles yesterday at a 9:30 pace. My stomach cramped at the end. I'm pretty sure it was because I didn't have anything to drink since the two mile mark, though. That won't happen again, though. I hope.

~Gotta Run Now

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