10 miles. One sock.

  • 10 miles
  • 1 hour 46 minutes 13 seconds
  • Tune of choice: The pitter-patter of my running stride? I forgot the headphones at home.
  • I am sad to say there have been no roadkill to report. Apparently Newton street cleaning is top-notch.
  • # of times heart was broken: you guessed it.

Throat ache and heartbreak

It’s been a while since I’ve blogged and there is a reason for this, I promise. After my 6-mile spectacular, I became very ill. Turns out the mysterious sore throat I’d been feeling in weeks prior was actually an infected cyst near my lymph nodes. Because of this, energy was low and pain was high. I had to make the difficult decision to back off training until my health improved. I managed a few short runs in the duration of my illness, but I skipped the 8-miler altogether. Thus… no blog.

But here I am today, back in the game with my 10-mile endeavor complete and checked off the list. The truth is, I am not even so sure I should have done 10 miles at all. To go from 6 to 10 with only a few short runs in between is quite ambitious. I really only did it for peace of mind- but that is certainly what I got! I averaged a 10:40 pace compared to last year’s 12:20 pace at this point in training. I honestly am still in shock over this statistic. If you’re interested to know, there were a handful of things I did during my run, all of which I am certain helped me to get through it with such success.

  • I started SLOW. Very, very slow. UNCOMFORTABLY slow. Why? Because I knew I had hills to tackle along with the 10-mile distance. By the time I reached Heartbreak Hill, I didn’t feel overspent and I enjoyed the ride. And when I reached that final nasty hill on Beacon, my legs felt great… and wouldn’t you know? I picked up some crazy speed in my last 3 miles.
  • I didn’t listen to music. This wasn’t by choice, but I think it helped. I wasn’t trying to stay with the pace of the music. Those of you who enjoy music, who perform music, who dance to music can understand me here. Movement is influenced so much by the beats and tempos of the music we listen to. Ditching the tunes altogether helped me stay slow. Which helped me get fast. I promise, it makes sense.
  • Keeping a positive attitude. When I saw Heartbreak Hill, my immediate reaction was “Oh shit balls.” However, that wasn’t the way to approach a hill that claimed my Achilles during the marathon last year. Instead, I thought: “I CAN do this hill. I’ve done it before. It wasn’t easy, but I will be at the top soon!” It worked.
  • ONE SOCK. It is true that people who train for marathons will not let anything get in the way of the goal. So when I came across pesky foot numbness at mile 3 (like I always do), I said “TO HELL WITH IT!” When I reached the water stop, I took my left sock off and I ran the whole way on one sock. Side note: Lesson learned. I am clearly not wearing the proper socks.
  • Walk breaks. I’d done all of my training up until now without walk breaks. It was mainly as a way to gauge my progress from last year. I walked a lot last year. But I knew I would have to implement them again at some point. Ironically enough, because I approached the run giving myself permission to walk whenever I needed, I actually didn’t walk that much at all. I took probably a total of 3 walk breaks (1 on heartbreak, 1 on the last hill leading back to the church). And I STILL had a 10:40 pace. Go figure.

12 miles tomorrow!

: )

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