It's a new week and I am hoping for a healthier house this week. Towards the end of last week my five year old brought home the gift of germs from school which has gone through our house like the plague. All of us got the nasty cough and the two little's got hit with high fevers and no appetite. Luckily the fevers broke and did not come back. I hate seeing my kiddo's sick. It doesn't make it any easier when I have been up coughing all night and feel like I got ran over by a truck. Needless to say life still goes on.
Even though I wasn't feeling 100% on Saturday I still got out there for my long run. Rest is important and I know I need to take care of myself but I was feeling well enough and properly hydrated before I headed out the door. I made sure I brought "Dianna" along to accompany my journey (My Camelback, I had to name her! And if you didn't catch on...Dianna aka Wonder Woman). I planned for this to be my long run of the weekend with a goal of 13-14 miles.
The route I chose was rather challenging. Where I live there are not a lot of options for doing a long run without hitting rolling hills, and lots of them! Truth be told I have a love/hate relationship with hills. Yes they suck in the moment, my glutes and calves start screaming obscenities at me, yet at the top of each hill there is that runner's high that I get for having reached the top. Hills make you stronger as a runner. Running hills can increase your speed, endurance and you burn more calories! Heading out the door Saturday morning there was a part of me trying to talk myself out of the route I planned...there was another part of me saying I would kick this runs ass.
I had decided that I would not focus on time or pace and instead focus on getting the miles in. I felt pretty good for the first five miles. The sun was shining, my breathing was good, I had just taken a GU and then my mojo got challenged by a growling dog that ran right after me. I could hear the growling and snarls as I pushed harder to get away from him. I even screamed. I thought for sure he was going to bite me. Suddenly I heard him stop and it was rather abrupt. I am assuming maybe his owner had a shock collar on him and stopped him. This is the third time this has happened to me over the past year. I do carry mace on me yet in the moment I am not thinking about getting my mace out. I am not sure I would even have enough time. I love dogs but seriously owners, put your dogs on a leash!
After that miles six to eleven were pretty good. It was those last few miles that really challenged me. Some of the toughest hills were upon me and they felt like they were all running together. I hit mile thirteen and struggled to hit 13.5. Those damn hills I love were starting to kick my ass and that was not the plan! I happily hit 13.5 and decided I was going to just power through to hit mile fourteen. I do this often when I run. I set a goal and then when I hit it, if I am feeling good, I say well I will do "x" amount more. As I was running that last half mile I saw my husband driving by and my five year old yell out the car window: "Hi Mama", which made me run even faster to finish. I was still 3 miles from home so I was excited that my troops had come looking for me. I hit fourteen miles and I finished strong and felt good. For not focusing on time I was still pretty pleased with finishing under two hours and keeping an average pace of 8:10.
My first Half Marathon of this year is in three weeks and it feels great to be ready this year. I have been pushing myself to get in more miles and have stuck to four to five days a week. I finished last week with 37 miles which I was ecstatic about. The week before the race I will take it down a notch so I can be well rested. The past two weeks I took Thursday and Friday off from running in order to be ready for long runs on the weekend. It is just something I thought I would try out and it has served well for me both times.
Sadly it looks like this weeks miles will be depleted due to that plague I mentioned earlier. I may need to lay low this week so I can get better. Of course my running schedule also depends on life along with the weather. Nothing is ever set in stone. I also have to rely on the hubby to be home and with spring coming means longer hours for him and possibly less runs for me. For now I will take every opportunity to run that I can. Every run is its own adventure.
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