Distance: 12.59 miles
Rate: 11:47 per mile
Another week, another record-breaking long run! Only a few more distance records to break in this training plan (next week’s 14 miler, then 16, 18 and 20 miles after that). I mixed the course up slightly this week, reversing halves, with the bigger half going last. Despite adding a mile, I’m not sure how I kept at 11:47 per mile, so I assume that’s my drop dead survival pace at this point.
It was 93F when I set out and I was anxious. Who cares that I’d just conquered eleven miles last week, this was TWELVE miles! I’ve had a decent amount of sleep in the past few days, so yet again I felt fresh out of the package when I set out onto the runway today. I also brought a new friend:
Yep, she’s got a handle and everything. After rationing last week’s dinky bottle of Nestle Pure Life, I decided that I wasn’t about to put up with that again. Enter the bottle. Since I didn’t need to be careful about precious H2O spilling out the top (since I was just knifing the cap on the smaller bottles), I was able to actually run with this thing, switching off when my clenched fists got tired, which wound up being every mile or so. Because of its capacity, I was tempted on a few turns to guzzle more than the usual amount, which lead to a coughing spat more than once. Moderation is the key!
First leg was a standard Leg B that runs by the house, it’s the one I skipped last week. Second leg was the extended Leg C that runs 3.2 miles. I noticed I was going faster this time around, then I remembered last time around, I’d already run nearly six miles by that point, so duh.
The problem I actually had, since I found my pace pretty early on this time, was that somewhere between knowing the course and that big, bright sun, I was looking at the ground most of the time, meaning that most of the run felt compressed. The novelty’s gone, so there’s no point in keeping my head up unless danger’s pending, right? I wound up daydreaming through a lot of these first few legs.
Then I found the glory of the straightaway. Usually daunting from a psychological perspective, I found these were the best ways to recapture pace. I can’t quite explain it, but when you can see the end point of a particular, long segment, a calm just comes over, like, yeah, I’ll get there, so just relax.
Third leg was the extended, probably standard Leg D and it was here that I was having to play the hardest mental games. It was here that I was feeling tuckered out the most. Not helping things was RunKeeper alerting me that I was going slower when I didn’t feel like I was. I imagined a scenario in which I’d need to start walking at some point in the future because the run was getting long and there was still so, so much to do.
But I didn’t.
Fourth leg was the extended Leg A and the cool breeze that had disappeared in the third leg came back to help me through this. It was long and I skipped a cul-de-sac this time around (no idea why I took it last week, but whatevs), but I knew it wasn’t so bad because I’d already made it that far and this was just the final bit. By the time I finished up this leg, I was starting to feel a pain flare up in one of my left quads, so I was making this artificial-feeling yanking sensation when pulling up my leg to alleviate it, as if a puppeteer’s string was yanking my knee away from the ground. It resolved itself within a half-mile.
Last leg before the exit mile was a standard length Leg A and I didn’t feel like I was grinding away like last week. I was tired, sure. I was out of water, definitely (despite having over twice as much!), but I felt I could’ve definitely gone farther. The exit mile came and I had enough juice in the last stretch to pick up the pace a bit.
Back home, my shirt was covered in salt stains from all the sweat, my calves a little beat up, every exposed inch of skin covered in a light layer of dust or dirt. My Achilles eventually froze up, making walking around a pain, but thankfully, with a shift in my work schedule, I can spend the night recovering, rather than pushing around merchandise. It’s working out great.
Instead, I’m going to relax and play Titanfall. 4-6-4-14 next week. See you then!