So I think today marks the first day I can actually say with confidence that I am a runner. I went on my first double-digit run ever this morning and it was amazing! As part of my half marathon training plan this weekend I was supposed to log a 10 mile run. Originally I just planned on doubling my 5 mile loop close to school, but then yesterday I received an email that a local running club was sponsoring a free training run on the actual race course with either a 10 mile or 20 mile option! I immediately responded to the email saying that I would love to join them. After I hit send, however, I started to become really nervous. What if I couldn’t keep up with the people running or couldn’t make it to the end? Even though I had a lot of reservations I tried to focus on how it will be good to have support throughout the run, having preset water/fuel stations would be a big help, and it would be really cool to get some practice on the course since there are a lot of hills. Running this course would also force me to finish the actual planned 10 miles and not chicken out after the first 5 like my original plan would allow for.
This morning I made my way down to the park where everyone was meeting up at 7am. Most of the people there had at lease one other person they were running with so for a little while I stood there awkwardly trying to figure out someone to talk to. I ended up meeting a really nice woman who I talked to/ran with for the first couple of miles but then we separated as my pace increased more than hers. For a good portion of the run I was actually alone and had no idea of how far I was/how fast I was going. Close to the second water stop I ended up running next to a really nice guy who I owe a great deal of my run to. When I was starting to feel the last few miles he was really great at talking to me and telling me funny stories to keep my mind off my legs.
Finally we made our way back to the starting point and I was so excited. As much as it hurt towards the end, reaching double-digit mileage is something I never dreamed I could do, but this morning I did it with relative ease. Yeah my pace slowed down a bit at the last mile, but I didn’t feel like death when all was said and done. The whole course took me an hour and a half, which gives me so much confidence for the half marathon! I now know I CAN do this! I also learned that I do not like GU. They had packets at one of the water stations and I have always been interested in trying it and I figured that this was the best time to practice with it. Although I definitely felt better with the extra fuel, I did not like taste the tangerine flavor left in my mouth and I felt a bit nauseous from it. Any suggestions on better flavors or tasteless quick forms of energy?
Now I can’t wait to spend the day refueling and possibly go to a hot yoga class in the afternoon to help stretch out my sore legs! Next weekend I plan on conquering 12 miles and today’s run definitely gives me the confidence to set that goal!