Saturday, October 5, 2013

Day 148: 21 Miles

It was a first for me -- 21 miles!  There aren't really enough exclamation points for that.

I started at 4:30 a.m. and the whole thing took me almost exactly four hours.  The first 16 miles were solid -- the Memorial loop, along the 610 feeder, through Post Oak, Highland Village, River Oaks, Montrose, South Hampton, around Hermann Park... each neighborhood was silent before the sun rose, and I felt light and strong.  I ran a really consistent 10 minute pace and only paused at our designated water stops (about every 5 miles).

At 16 miles I hit a bit of a wall.  I started having mental battles about how long I'd run without stopping.    I was hot.  My legs were heavy.  And at this point I was running back towards my car, so there were no new landmarks, which is always tough for me.  Even when my friend, Teresa, joined to run me back in, she couldn't totally distract me from the last 5 miles.

Around Mile 18 I had to use my the tried and true 5:1 strategy -- 5 minutes of running and a 1-minute walk.  It's sort of funny how 5:1's work to keep me going in those last few miles.  At that point the walking didn't actually feel better -- my legs were like lead and so achey even walking was torturous -- but 5 minute goals were small and surmountable, and got me through those last three miles.

So I did it!  Teresa by my side, I did it.  Then I took my shoes off and had a popsicle.

Highland Village, deserted at 5:30 a.m.

Teresa and me post-run

Day 148, by the numbers:

- miles run to date
21 - longest run to date
3:59:41 - minutes and seconds it took
28 - days until the marathon

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