The Last Long Run Before the Big One

An early morning Saturday long run, the last one before my half marathon

 

The next time I run more than 3 miles it will be 13.1 miles at my race next week!  Today’s long run was a ten miler, the longest distance I will run before the half marathon next week. I made sure to get my mileage in this week and even did a nice speed drill on Thursday, rested (cross trained with kettle bells) on friday and did a 10 mile Saturday. The morning of the long run was chillier than usual. I broke out my long sleeved running shirt by Under Armour. All in all the weather was perfect for running! The sky was grey and the air cool.

I ran .8 miles to 7th and Race Streets to meet Katrina. She has been nursing some IT Band issues along with some hip soreness so she went slower than usual, which meant she ran WITH me the whole time. I made a concerted effort to not look at my phone for the first few blocks. It helped because before I knew it we already ran 2 miles (.8 included from our places) and weren’t even to the running path at the Schuylkill. We ran along the path and onto Boathouse Row where a 5k was happening. We got there as the walkers were starting. I was tempted to grab a water from one of the aid stations, especially on my way back when I already had 6 miles under the belt.

Along our run Katrina tells me that instead of going for a PR next week and risking an injury that she will be my personal pacer. I cannot tell you how this makes me feel, besides nervous. That someone would sacrifice their own personal goal to aid me is amazing. We decided that an 11 minute pace is the perfect tempo for 13.1 miles. Since our pace varied between 10 and 11 on the course we both felt it was the perfect pace to keep for next week. I’m not sure if it was the lack of music or what but I felt great on this run, better than I did on the last 2 solo long runs.

We stopped at mile 5 to stretch and pause for the cause. Our break was probably a minute or two but it was needed. We turned around and headed back the way we came. The way back seemed much shorter and our pace was rocking steady. We ran further down the trail from where we started since our destination would be different from our starting point. We decided we would both need coffee and bagels after this run. I got to run on some new turf, along with seeing some new turf in Philadelphia. Where the trail ends there was this bridge that goes up over the railroad tracks and takes you down into this newly made dog park. Looking down at all the dogs playing and barking made me smile. The park was huge and very beautiful. I love my city. Going up this bridge, on my right, was the Schuylkill River and what is soon to be a new “boardwalk” for bikers and runners that goes over almost the middle of the river. In my pictures posted below is one of the boardwalk under being built.

Somewhere around mile 7 I started to get behind Katrina.

“I’m starting to fall apart.” I said. Which was immediately met with,

“NO YOU’RE NOT! How dare you say that! That’s all mental so get it out of your head! Take a GU and get it together!”

This is where a running partner helps. If I were running solo I might be prone to have stopped and dragged my ass on for the next 2-3 miles, but instead, I sucked on a GU and picked up my feet. I really did start to feel a bit more energized. It would come and go.I feel sluggish and then I’d pick it up. We both finished strong with a 10:50 average pace, (damn you, red lights!) and stopped at the Last Drop coffee shop to have some coffee. Katrina got a bagel and I treated myself to a most delicious whoopie pie! I made sure to get some coconut water to fuel up my electrolytes.

And so now I await the dreaded taper week. I will run 2-3 miles on nothing after Thursday. The reward at the end of next week’s 13.1 mile tunnel will be some cold, refreshing IPAs, along with a new PR and medal. Take care and keep on running, stretching and foam rolling! Now enjoy the view from my run:

 

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One response to “The Last Long Run Before the Big One

  1. Eating something on the run really does help! Congrats on your last long run. I’ve got a 12 miler tomorrow and then 2-3 mile runs next week. Getting close to race time!

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