Pre-workout fuel: Slice of whole-wheat toast with reduced-fat Jiff
Mid-workout fuel: Triberry Gu at mile 4 and Mint Chocolate Gu at mile 8
Workout: Ran 11.39 miles in 1 hour, 40 minutes and 29 seconds; average pace, 8:49.
I turned over this morning and looked at the clock.
7:10. Ugh. It seemed so late and yet I just wanted to lie in bed and doze for another hour.
"What time do you want to get up?" Mark asked. I stared. "Let's just be brave and do it."
Brave? Me? But his word choice did seem appropriate. I think there is an act of bravery when it comes to running. Stepping outside to put one foot in front of the other, without knowing what lies in the miles ahead ... yeah, that's brave.
Mark and I set out for our 11 miles on a familiar route, first taking the pathway around the campus and down through the park. It should have felt great - the temperature was hovering around 50 - but I had a terrible cramp/stitch on my right side. I did my best not to lose focus or pace as I didn't want to get off to a bad start on an 11-miler. I concentrated my breathing and applied pressure with the hope that the pain would cease.
By the time we got to the park/greenway, the pain was gone. The pace felt pretty moderate and we didn't slow down any as I took my first Gu. (I opted for a Tri-berry out of my prize as I had tried it before and knew it didn't upset my stomach.) In fact, we didn't stop at all until about mile 7ish when we needed to make a bathroom stop and were trying to locate one.
The bathroom stop was made just after mile 8, which is where I took the Mint Chocolate Gu. Holy mother of all that is good! The word amazing doesn't even do it justice. It was like a York Peppermint Patty had just exploded in my mouth. And, thankfully, it caused no ill side effects, which I had been worried about and was the reason I saved it for later.
After the pit stop, it took me a bit to work out some stiffness and from there it was game on. Mark either wanted to pick up the pace or just be done as he was a good 10 feet ahead of me for the last couple miles. In the past, I would have screamed something to the effect of: "If you want to run with me, then RUN WITH ME." But I didn't. I ran what I could and he did, on occasion, fall back.
Those last miles were the fastest and mile 11 clocked in at 8:30. Mark wanted to stop at that point. The 11 miles were done, and we could walk the rest of the way home. But I didn't want to walk and so to make up for his fast pace, I made him run farther.
Wasn't that nice of me?