I ran 7 miles today. It’s not my first time, but it’s still a milestone. It’s the longest duration (1:22:45) and tied for my longest distance at 7.27. I mistakenly thought 7.22 was my longest, or I would’ve held out for another hundredth of a mile.
Either way, I felt accomplished by the end. It was a challenging run, to be sure, and hills of mile 5 showed in the mile 6 split. We came in strong on mile 7, and claimed the win.
The biggest news: my feet held up. I ran in my old Pegasus 29s, which have over 500 miles! Not surprising, I had overall leg fatigue and my foot started to peter out at the end, but nothing like the pain and discomfort I felt with new Brooks Launch. This means those Brooks are as good as gone. I wish there was a way to give running shoes a 20 mile trial period before committing to them.
It’s clear a life of running is in my future, so my approach to shoes will be a little different moving forward. I’ve scoped out some potential replacements, and I’ll get a new pair before my next milestone, an 8-mile run coming up soon.
Several recent runs have been uncomfortable past the 35 minute mark, and although I haven’t figured out why, it’s not a completely new problem. That said, I wore a pair of old running shoes during today’s run to see how they felt. It was a short run, and just shy of the 35-40 minute fatigue mark. I can say they are much more comfortable than my current shoe, and unlike my current shoe, I didn’t even have a hint that pain was imminent. All signs are pointing to a need to revisit my shoes.
I’m going to tackle the 7-miler in my old pinks to see how it goes. I do anticipate some discomfort before I hit 7, but hopefully it’ll be minimal. If that’s the case, I’ll be clear about what to do next.
Thursday morning, I ran with the youngest. He’s 11 and likes a good adventure as much as the next kid.
After a strong finish during a recent 5k race, he agreed with his father and I that running would be good summertime pursuit. He’s athletic, with a determined heart, and was undaunted by my description of Thursday’s running plan.
Eleven (almost 12) is that interesting age where some are still open to public kisses from parents, but are pretty sure they’ve got this thing (life) all figured out. Or at least they want you to think so.
As a veteran classroom teacher turned new stepmom, it’s an interesting tug-of-war watching this play out, even as you know what’s going on. I know how kids generally work. I know where mine is on this or that developmental scale. But I (and every other parent) constantly wonder – am I doing the right thing? Stepmomming while running is no different.
He jogged the warm-up mile with no problem, and then it was high-low intervals on the track. He ran out of steam early (11-year-olds don’t sleep during the summer), so I left him to walk/run at his own pace while I continued mine. I knew from our earlier talk he was fine with this, and yet seeing him on the other side of the track, small and alone in the distance tugged at my heart. Should I sprint over to him to catch up and check in? Should I slow down on the next lap so we can run together?
Ultimately I stuck to my plan, checking on him and slowing a wee bit when we passed naturally. Each time he assured me he was fine, and on the way home, when I asked once more, he gave me a “knock it off” look. A polite one, a few steps below tween exasperation and eye rolling, but hinting at it all the same.
He didn’t join Blue and I on today’s 3 miler, opting for Saturday sleeping instead. Just as well. Starting this afternoon he has a big weekend-long sleepover with this friends. I’m sure he needed all extra rest he could gather.
Sunday’s long run tested my shoes, my stride and my insoles.
I have an ongoing challenge with shock/fatigue effecting the ball of my right foot. Over the years, I’ve dealt with the symptoms successfully for the most part. In the past two years, it hasn’t flared up at all, so I’d forgotten about it until earlier this month. That was about the time I ran out out my old shoes (500+ miles) and purchased news ones. Somewhere in that transition, my foot reminded me of the way things were.
The new shoes haven’t helped, so I tried new insoles this week. I did a short run with them, but Sunday’s long run was the official new insoles trial. Would my feet hold up for over an hour of running, or would they start to complain?
I adjusted my foot strike throughout the run and found some shifts helpful. I realize much of this will be trial and error until I’m ready to go see a specialist. I’m not, yet, so trial and error it is.
Aside from foot fatigue in the last mile, the run was a good one. I kept a steady 11 to 11:45 pace as prescribed, tending toward the lower end of the range. I locked into the pace easily, and found the only real work happened when expected: tackling the one or two hills along the trail. I backed up the pace a little bit to recover, but it was still within my target intensity.
Tomorrow’s run is another easy one, but I’m really looking forward to Thursday’s challenge. It’s speedwork, and I plan to become good friends with track.
Last night, I decided today’s run would begin at the park. The park trailhead begins/ends right beside a track, which is perfect for strides at the run’s end.
This area is full of runners and bikers. It seems every other week there’s a 5k/10k and the like. There was one last Saturday, and just to be on the safe side, I checked for this Saturday. Nothing on tap! All clear!
Yet I arrived at the park shortly after 6:15 a.m., greeted by a tell-tale Start banner.
I drove around to investigate. Yes, a race would be underway in little over an hour. And worse, the track served as a staging area. I could be done with the main course before the race began, but the track was off limits, and the track was the only reason I came to the park.
Wasting no time, I headed to my usual spot and got my miles. Three slow miles culminating in three strides. I felt good overall, and it was fun to note how easy it was to lock into my target pace. It’s definitely familiar and comfortable.
Tomorrow’s run is 6 miles steady – 11:00-11:45 target pace. Looking forward to locking in on a pretty spring morning.
Most of my recent runs have been at conversation pace. My plan sets this as 11:15-11:30 minutes per mile. That’s a comfortable pace, especially once I’ve warmed up.
Blue gifted me a Garmin for my birthday, and I program it as a training partner. It alerts me elapsed distance and/or time, and it signals when I’m not running within a specified target.
Today’s run felt good early. I locked into what seemed to be an 11:00-11:15 pace (a little faster than target). But my Garmin didn’t agree. In fact, it alerted me several times that I was much too slow. I refused to speed up because I’ve gotten to know just what this range feels like.
I waited for my Garmin to smarten up.
As I approached the first mile marker, it still clocked me at 13 minutes a mile. At the marker, I stopped running and stopped my watch. No surprise – the satellite was wrong. Again. Thanks to my love of routine and familiarity, I know all the mile markers between the trailhead and 2.5 miles. I’d run one mile. Garmin thought it .89. Amount of time? 11 minutes, 3 seconds. I knew I’d locked into 11!
Once I resumed my run, it seemed to track me just fine. I have a theory as to why it was off this morning and last Thursday as well. I’m going to make some adjustments based on the theory, and we’ll see what happens.
A couple of other things to note…I ran with a water bottle today. I don’t really water mid-run for short bouts, but I do for anything 5 miles or longer.
Every Sunday from here on out I have a 5 mile or longer run. I’m preparing now.
Hydration belts constrict my breathing when they’re strapped on tight enough to stay in place. In general, holding a water bottle isn’t ideal, but the right one will be fine.
Today’s was the wrong one. It wasn’t soft enough in my hand and didn’t fit ergonomically. Perhaps more importantly, it was too hard to get water! Mid-stride, there’s no time or energy to undergo strenuous efforts or multiple steps to pull water. So I’ll have to find another one.
My new running shoes feel good overall, but I’m dealing with some foot fatigue. The ball of my right foot gets tired after 35 minutes or so of exercise. This is not a new challenge, and it’s not limited to running, but it has been more noticeable the past couple of weeks (before and after new shoes) and it will make longer runs intolerable. I ran with new insoles today to see if they’d help. I can’t say they did. So for that, back to the drawing board as well.
Don’t misunderstand me, it was my usual place, the closest trailhead of two nearby. The overwhelming majority of my runs start from here, but it wasn’t ideal for today.
Unless it’s the middle of a storm, I’ve decided to run rain or shine. Last night, it rained. For a slow or steady run, old faithful doesn’t pose a problem when wet. But today’s run was three slow miles with strides. The strides (sprints) are best done on dry land, or at the very least, on ground with strong traction. Most of the trail is wood, and slick when wet. The other trailhead? Right beside a track.
I realized my mistake within moments of arrival, but it was too late to relocate. The slow three would be fine, but I’d have to take it easy with the strides.
I ran the first of four strides on concrete, so I took it at a pretty good clip.
The remaining three landed on wet boardwalks. I ran those much slower, more deliberately.
I had the energy to give my best effort at the end. As it turned out, I gave the best I could based on the circumstances.
The truth is, I always have this choice. Circumstances are never stagnant, but I can choose to give my best effort, whatever that means at a moment in time.
Yesterday Blue and I ran two miles and strides. We arrived early to the park, ahead of the 5k racers. We got our two on the greenway and closed out the strides on the track. I wore new running shoes for the occasion, but I didn’t run long enough to see how my feet liked them.
Today’s long run was a 5-miler. An extra rest day Friday and carb loading yesterday proved great choices. I experimented with my pre-run fuel this morning as well, eating a little banana with almond butter before the left. The combination left me feeling energized and strong the entire run. My shoes also worked pretty well, and I’m looking forward to some good miles with them.
Next week I move into more vigorous runs and increased mileage. As it is, last month I set a personal record for most miles run in a month (58.4)! I am traveling to Colorado later this month. It takes me a few days to get used to the altitude, so I’m expecting a few days off then.
I planned to run rain or shine. It shined. After multiple forecasts predicting rain today, Mother Nature graced us with sun instead.
The agreeable weather did nothing to help my Garmin, which located me a quarter of a mile away from where I actually was. This is the first time I’ve experienced this malfunction, so hopefully it’s a rare occurrence.
The mistake confused me at first, and I invested plenty of energy troubleshooting and trying to adjust. Since I run the same trail most days, I knew where the first mile marker (not 1.20!) was. I restarted the Garmin from there and it had no trouble after that.
Muscle fatigue meant I worked harder to maintain my target pace, and although I had instant snapshots of my pace via my Garmin, I didn’t have my usual chirps warning me to speed up or slow down to stay on track.
All said, it was a taxing run.
Even with the challenges, I enjoyed myself, and the beauty of spring. Looking forward to stronger legs in the weeks ahead.
Not sure if it was vacay mode this weekend (and yesterday), or something else, but I was a tad bit slower overall today. Still on pace for the plan, but after so many runs at a consistent pace, it was surprising to see the numbers.
I tried something a little different this morning. I usually treat my first mile as my warm up, which means the first half mile I’m a little slower than target. Everything balances out after that. Today I did two short strides and a little bit of walking to begin. It helped me start the run faster than usual, and that could also have added to my slower pace later on. Rather than a half mile of adjustments, I was pretty close to my target range in half that distance.
In addition to everything else I’m doing, I’m actively working to increase my fruit and vegetable in-take. I like goddess foods, so it’s not a chore to eat them. But I do need some more recipes and meal-planning ideas. My medium term goal is to follow a pescatarian diet, with my long term goal to follow a mostly plant-based diet.
Right now I’m sipping a mason jar of infused water… orange slices and a cinnamon stick. I drink plenty of water daily, but it’ll be nice to play with the infusions this summer.