Saturday evening was a great run. I even surprised myself.
The days have been hot, coming on to summer it usually is hot. But recently it’s been unusually hot than prior years, as far as I can remember. With that being said, heat was a factor in me deciding, rather convincing myself, to go running. I sat deliberating for a while the pros and cons of getting my tush out the door and tapping the pavement. Finally after what seemed like half an hour, at 5:41pm I clicked my Garmin watch and began my run.
I had not anticipated the actual distance and time that I’d accomplished, but had an idea of where I wanted to be. I set out aiming to run 6.25 miles. This wasn’t an ordinary run, it was one experimenting with a product that would help keep my fueled during my run. To ensure that I would put no pressure on myself, I set out with the understanding that this run was one of distance and not speed. At least not yet.
One of the things I wanted to do was keep a steady pace throughout my run. I knew that my body wasn’t used to running more that 4 miles but I was willing to push for that evenings focused goal of 6.25 miles and visually, from point “A” to point “B”. After the first 5k, and about half an hour into the run, I downed one of the gels. It was not pretty as I held it like I was holding a cup, and got some sticky fluid on my fingers. No matter, I kept running while licking the vanilla fluid from my fingers.
I had not noticed an immediate change or sudden super woman burst of energy, but after a few minutes I realized my body wasn’t tired. At that point I checked in on my breathing, steady and controlled. Checked in on my form, little change here and there was needed, then good to go. Without any other expectations, I seemed to have been doing ok. The gel fluid didn’t make my stomach ill at that point so I was happy.
Another 20 minutes into the run and I stopped for about 10 seconds. Mentally I just stopped. Decided to push myself again, not looking at how far I have to go but that I was doing the run. Little pep talk at this point proved helpful in the long-run. I slowed just a bit but kept going. As I ran back the direction I came, a firm wind was against me. It was on the seaside after all. I kept going, realising that the gel fluid left my mouth a bit dry. Unfortunately I didn’t carry water with me, but I kept going. I downed my second gel fluid.
Tried to keep a steady pace, watching the sky above which suddenly seemed to get overcast and moreso as I ran in that direction. I could feel the area just below my right knee start to ache, not too much to hamper my run, but enough that I made a mental note to ice it when I was done. Slight drizzle at this point. I’d never really ran in the rain before, and if it started to pour then i would have no choice but to run in the rain to my vehicle. I kept going. I’d say that the threat of rain pushed me that much more to keep going in order to beat the downpour.
The last couple of meters I increased my pace and sprinted towards my vehicle, and the ending destination. Like second nature, I immediately stopped my Garmin watch. I surpassed 6.25 miles and completed 6.63 miles in 1:18 min. Not bad for a novice runner in training for the half-marathon six months away!
I was completely surprised at myself and very glad that I got out of my house and onto the street for a run. This run was definately a great run. Yet again I am proud of me.
It is good to have a goal to focus on, to keep ones eyes steady towards the prize. It’s also important that you force yourself to not veer off looking at any distractions to the left or right, and begin second guessing your strengths in comparison to other athletes. My challenge is with and within me, to do my best every time I am out there.