camino de santiago, half-marathons, running, Walking

The Ups and Downs of Running

Last Saturday I was feeling anxious about the possibility of rain (of course, it didn’t rain) so I opted to run 10 miles on the treadmill. Worst.Idea.Ever. Oh, it was miserable. Even when it’s hot and humid out there’s at least a breeze created when I move forward. On a treadmill there is no breeze. I’m just stuck in one place for minutes upon minutes, hour upon hour. I did this to myself, I know, but I had no idea how awful it would be. My only saving grace was watching The Way.

At one point I decided I only had to run 5 miles. I got to 5 miles and kept going. I continued on with these silly mind tricks until 10 miles was complete. I will never do that again. Unless it’s, like, -30 degrees for a whole week and I have a race coming up and there’s no way I can go without a long run. So, pretty much never again.

On Tuesday my training app said to run 4.25 miles, so I went out after work. It was around 80 degrees but I felt okay when I walked outside. Per usual, I started too fast and by the end of the first mile I wasn’t feeling too great. I decided I’d walk a little at the end of each mile to ensure I would drink water and cool down a bit. After mile two I decided that running was the stupidest thing in all the earth and why in the world did I ever think I wanted to do this!

At one point Brad called and even though I was only walking when I answered, he asked what I was doing because I was still breathing heavy and probably sounded a bit dejected. Dying. That is what I’m doing. When I told him I was “running” he said I could call him back. No, no, let’s talk. I’m sure I have a lot to say. So I walked during this really important phone call that couldn’t wait.

I got a side cramp, I got overheated, I could barely run. But, I finished 4.25 miles (I don’t know why the app doesn’t use whole mileage – it’s really hard to stop when it’s not a whole number!). I finished, but I also vowed never to run in the heat of the day like that ever again. With all the walking dispersed between the running, my pace was 13:00. Not my best. Far from it.

I knew I needed to do a speed run today (1200m x 6 with 2:45 minute rests in between) but I learned from Tuesday’s hellish experience. However, that meant I’d need to get up early enough to run 4.5 miles before work. It turns out I hate running in the heat more than I hate waking up early, so this morning I got up at 5 am.

My watch kept track of the whole run while the app only tracked the 1200m splits. My watch told me I ran 5.42 miles at a 10:30 pace (that included the rest times). My app told me I ran 4.5 miles at a 9:30 pace.

It was in the upper 50s and clearly I went flying.

It felt so good!

I have a half-marathon on June 10 at 7 am. [For anyone keeping track, yes, I’m running a half-marathon two days before I fly to Spain to walk 130 miles over 11 days. Whatever.] I’m really hoping it’s in the 50s for the day of the race. I’d love to PR (my best time so far is 2:24:11). My stretch goal is 2:15. However, it’s obvious that as the temperature rises, my paces slows. I can’t do anything to control what the weather will be that morning. If a PR doesn’t happen this time, I’ve got two more chances to make that happen this year – both in the fall, a much more pleasant time to run! 🙂

And, while I’m on the topic, I might mention that this upcoming race will be my 13th 13.1! It’s my goal to complete 20 by 2020!


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