Week two of my training plan ended with another milestone for this training season. Today I completed my longest running race, a 15k or 9.3 mile run. The Ironhorse 15k race involved running a course around the Tow)n Center mall and surrounding areas. Not the most scenic, but challenging terrain consiting of some good hills and flat sections, a little bit of everything. A few weeks ago i had setout on one of my running routes from my house to run my longest run of 7.5 miles, acidentially running 9.3 miles instead (here). The goal was to run the distance the first time and train up to this distance. Well I have now successfully finished a 15k (9.3) mile running race and I unnoficially 2:12:18 (I turned on the start timer early and did not stop for a second or two so it should be interesting to see how it compares to official time).
The weather this weekend was perfect for both Saturday and Sunday. At the start of the race it was close to 62 degrees and overcast. I was nervious about this race as the longest I had gone in a race was a 10k, which was a good race but I felt dead on the last couple of miles. Also, something about running 9 miles seemed so ginormous, sorta like the sound of a half marathon distance. 10k seemed hard but doable but all dinstances beyond seemed so undoable and difficult. But on Sunday I found myself packed in with numerous other runners who were only there for the shorter 5k and a fewer 15k participants.
My plan was pretty simple, stick to one mile of walking and one mile of running. I carried a bottle of sports drink with me and take a gel every half an hour. I pretty much stuck with this plan and it worked flawlessly. Initially I think I started my runs out a bit fast, but I calmed down a bit to better pace myself. I did not miss any of my intervals even if they meant running up hills and it paid off with a solid time for my first race at this distance. The first 5k flew by, maybe because I have done so many of those races. Before I knew it I had wrapped up five miles and I could feel my feet begin expanding. This was the first race I used the Injinji socks, socks with individual toes like a pair of gloves made out of sweat wicking material and seemless. I will post a write up on these later, but initial report indicated these things rocked!!! No blisters ever formed and my feet felt awesome all 9 miles.
The course had pretty well spaced out water stations stocked with water and electrolyte mix. To make my personal bottle last longer and since I was sweating pretty bad, I took two electrolyte drinks and two waters at every stop. This seemed to work pretty well and reserved my bottle for the few long stretches where there were no water stations.
After five miles, closer to six, things got a bit harder. I started to feel the tiredness in my leg muscles and my mind kept harping to me the remaining distance that needed to be covered. I ended up turning up my music and just taking the running legs a little slower to let my muscles catch up a bit.
Suddenly I was at mile 8 and 9 and they felt like they lasted forever. My end goal of completing a 15k was only 2 miles away. Everyone in my pace group could feel it and we all pushed our runs a bit harder, we could feel success, we just had to push our straining muscles just a bit further and then solid food and water and … everything not involved in pounding our feet on the pavement and moving forward.
Then suddenly I was on the home stretch, the finish line and family were in sight. I pushed it, my legs pushed back, but I just kept pushing until I finished and the volunteers were handing me my finisher medal and my family and running freinds were there to share the moment.
A little under a year ago, last October, I ran my first 5k race ever. I had been told I was not made to run and I never dreamed I could participate in running events. Today I blew that perception away with a 9.3 mile run, a distance that still amazes me I can now run. I truly am a runner, not fast, but I can push my way through almost 10 miles to complete a distance race and do it with a smile on my face and a great attitude. Today was an amazing day, another great day of truly achieving something I was told was not doable. Today was a very good day. Til next time.
- Took The Night Off… I Deserved It (chatterdoesfitness.wordpress.com)
- Marching to Amelia Man 5 Weeks And Counting (chatterdoesfitness.wordpress.com)
- Week 12 of marathon training (milesflyby.com)
- Some of What i’ve Learned Running Marathons….Part 1 (organicfoodpricequotes.com)
- Nine Mile Long Run…Done! (asicsmom.com)